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Kick off 15:00 (UK)

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03 January 2022 Venue Abbey Stadium Attendance

Kick off 15:00 (UK)

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English Football League - League One

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Match Previews

Match Preview: Cambridge v Pompey

All you need to know about League One contest

2 January 2022

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Cambridge United v Pomp

Pompey fans will have had to wait 23 days to see their side in action by the time the sides take to the pitch at Cambridge on Monday (3pm kick-off).

Since seeing off Morecambe on home soil a couple of weeks before Christmas, Danny Cowley’s troops have seen four matches postponed.

League One contests with AFC Wimbledon, Oxford and Plymouth – as well as a Papa John’s Trophy tie at Exeter – have all bitten the dust because of Covid.

But barring any late drama, the Blues will finally get the chance to shake off those festive cobwebs at the Abbey Stadium.

With plenty of other clubs also having fixtures cancelled, they have only dropped one place to ninth in the standings.

The points gap between Pompey and the final play-off spot, however, has increased from one point to seven.

Their next opponents, meanwhile, are down in 17th position and looking to climb away from the drop zone.

Cambridge – who claimed the runners-up spot in League Two last term – have seen their last couple of contests called off due to a Covid outbreak of their own.

But Mark Bonner’s men secured a 2-1 victory when the teams met at Fratton Park back in September.

Prior to that south coast clash, United had not celebrated victory against the Blues for an incredible 43 years.

TEAM NEWS
Pompey have no new Covid cases, while Clark Robertson (hip), Louis Thompson (abdominal) and Ryan Tunnicliffe (hamstring) are all closing in on a return after spells on the sidelines.

Cambridge have confirmed that some of their players are still isolating, while Wes Hoolahan (hamstring) Lloyd Jones (groin), Liam O’Neil (calf), Greg Taylor (ankle) and Shilow Tracey (ankle) are all likely to miss out.

VIEW FROM THE DRESSING ROOM
Read the thoughts of Blues boss Danny Cowley ahead of the game.

HEAD TO HEAD
Overall
Pompey: 14 wins
Cambridge: 2 wins
3 draws

At Abbey Stadium
Pompey: 6 wins
Cambridge: 1 win
2 draws

TICKETS
Pompey have sold their full allocation of tickets and none will be available to buy at the ground.

Travelling fans should have Covid certification as they may be asked to show this in order to enter the stadium. Click here for more details.

OFFICIALS
Referee: Joshua Smith
Assistants: Michael George and Daniel Leach
Fourth Official: Trevor Kettle

MATCH COVERAGE
Supporters at home and abroad can watch the contest live by purchasing an iFollow match pass and visiting the match centre.

Domestic iFollow subscribers can also enjoy audio commentary from Andrew Moon and Guy Whittingham as usual, but will need to purchase a match pass if they want to watch the game.

Click here for more information about using iFollow on a matchday and click here for information on downloading the app, so you can access content on your mobile device.

We will have updates throughout the game on Twitter and the match centre. You can also see behind-the-scenes content on our Instagram story.

There will be post-match reaction on the website and our official YouTube channel, with highlights to follow on Tuesday.

Local listeners can hear commentary by tuning in to either Express FM or BBC Radio Solent.

BETTING
Pompey are the 10/11 favourites with VBET to secure all three points, while the hosts can be backed at 11/4.

Click here to find a comprehensive list of odds for Monday’s game. 18+. Please gamble responsibly.

We are committed to playing our part in ensuring our relationship with VBET is promoted in the right way to our supporters.

That is why VBET has partnered with BettorMind, to provide responsible gambling advice around key betting behaviours.

When it comes to betting, we advise all fans to make use of our dedicated responsible gambling site.

MEMORABLE MEETING

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Match Reports

Cambridge 0 Pompey 0

Blues start 2022 with a draw

3 January 2022

Ronan Curtis in action for Pompey at Cambridge
Photo: Dennis Goodwin

Pompey began 2022 by picking up a point in a goalless – but certainly eventful – draw with Cambridge at Abbey Stadium.

There were a few questionable challenges from both sides, while the hosts were reduced to 10 men after the break.

But despite dominating possession, the Blues were unable to celebrate their long-awaited return to action with a win.

Danny Cowley made one change from the side that had beaten Morecambe on home soil 23 days earlier.

Joe Morrell returned to the centre of midfield, with Arsenal loanee Miguel Azeez dropping to the bench.

It was the home side who were first to threaten after Sean Raggett had intercepted a low Sam Smith delivery.

But the ball fell at the feet of Joe Ironside, who fired in a shot that was beaten away by Gavin Bazunu.

Tempers then rose following a clash between Marcus Harness and Jack Iredale, which infuriated the home side.

Pompey’s forward was put in a headlock by Paul Digby, but referee Joshua Smith let them both off with a talking to before booking Smith for dissent.

The visitors soon had a chance to take the lead, only for Reeco Hackett to fire over after being picked out in the box by Harness.

Cambridge immediately broke down the other end and Bazunu flung himself to the right to palm away a strike from Blues academy graduate Adam May.

It looked as though James Brophy was going to tuck away the loose ball, but Mahlon Romeo dived in to make a fine block.

Pompey kept probing as the first half progressed and were just lacking a quality final ball to truly trouble their opponents.

And it was United who almost went ahead in stoppage-time, but Smith was unable to beat Bazunu from a tight angle.

Half Time: Cambridge 0 Pompey 0

There was a healthy crowd inside the Abbey Stadium, although they were not treated to much excitement once the action restarted.

Pompey threatened from a couple of corners, while there were some dangerous counter-attacks from the hosts.

But neither side was looking particularly likely to break the deadlock as the contest meandered along.

Things certainly livened up on the hour mark, however, as Smith caught Ogilvie and left the defender with a nasty cut on his face.

It was enough to earn the midfielder a booking from the referee and, following his earlier transgression, a red card.

The action was then halted while medical teams dealt with an emergency among the home supporters.

Both sides departed down the tunnel while treatment was given and a supporter was stretchered from the pitch to warm applause from the stands.

The game restarted after almost 15 minutes and Cowley made an immediate change, with Michael Jacobs replacing Kieron Freeman.

Pompey were keen to get forward and caused a few scares among the United defence, while Hackett then made way for Lee Brown.

But Cambridge had a chance of their own when Digby’s header from a May free-kick was saved by Bazunu, who then grabbed the loose ball before Joe Ironside could capitalise.

It was the visitors enjoying the territorial advantage, though, and Dimitar Mitov got down low to turn behind Jacobs’ strike.

The hosts thought Pompey should have been reduced to 10 men when Romeo was penalised for a foul.

But the Millwall loanee was not punished further than a free-kick and Iredale instead got booked for dissent.

The resulting free-kick from May was nodded clear by Raggett and Iredale’s follow-up effort flew wide.

That earlier delay meant there were 21 minutes added on and the Blues tried to find a breakthrough.

There was still a danger of more dismissals, though, with a Shaun Williams challenge on Brophy causing tempers to flare once more.

United were doing a good job of holding their visitors at bay, but when a Harness ball ran across the box for Ronan Curtis, he blazed wastefully over the bar.

George Hirst was replaced by John Marquis as Cowley made one final roll of the dice in search of a winner.

But the Blues were unable to find their way through a resolute United back-line and a late Connor Ogilvie shot went over as they had to settle for a share of the spoils.

Cambridge (4-2-3-1): Mitov; Williams, Okedina, Iredale, Dunk; Digby (c), Worman (Knibbs 77); Smith, May, Brophy (Hoolahan 90+18); Ironside
Sent off: Smith (two yellow cards)
Booked: Brophy, Iredale
Subs not used: McKenzie-Lyle, Masterson, O’Neil, Weir, Lankester

Pompey (3-4-1-2): Bazunu; Freeman (Jacobs 76), Raggett (c), Ogilvie; Romeo, Morrell, Williams, Hackett (Brown 81); Harness; Hirst (Marquis 90+16), Curtis
Booked: Romeo, Raggett, Williams
Subs not used: Bass, Downing, Azeez, Harrison

Referee: Joshua Smith

Attendance: 6,832 (1,463 Pompey fans)

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