The countdown to Cambridge
Michael Salisbury is the referee for the game, he has issued 39 yellow cards and seven reds in 16 games this season. He was last in charge of an Argyle game in September 2018 for the 0-0 draw at Bristol Rovers.
His father, Graham, is also an EFL referee. Salisbury will be assisted on Saturday by Dan Cook and Stephen Brown while the fourth official is Oliver Brown.
Argyle have played Cambridge 12 times at the Abbey Stadium, winning two games, drawing four and losing six.
The U's occupy 13th place in League Two on 24 points, winning three, drawing three and losing three of their nine home games. The game against Argyle will be the first home league for Cambridge since 2 November.
They have won just two games from the last 15 in all competitions.
According to Sky Bet Cambridge are favourites to win with odds of 7/5, an Argyle win is placed at 9/5 and the draw is on offer at 9/4.
Pay on the day is available with a £2 increase on each ticket; an adult ticket will cost £22 on Saturday. Seating is unreserved.
The U's announce plans for a new 12,000 capacity stadium .... Cambridge club website
As of 12.30PM today Argyle fans have snapped 800 tickets.
Cambridge United fan Owen Mizon from @YABATVcufc has kindly agreed to give Pasoti users an insight into his club with a Q & A, also thanks to Ollie.
Q: What are your thoughts on your season so far?
A: It’s been an extremely contrasting season for United so far. The inability to show some consistency and kill off teams has proved frustrating, and it’s exactly why we sit where we do - mid-table. There has been some extremely positive results for the team, we’ve gone to Crewe and Mansfield and won 3-2 and 4-0 respectively. We hit four again when Exeter visited The Abbey in October, which I’m sure Argyle were no doubt pleased to hear. But like I’ve stated, there’s been a plethora of games where we should have got something out of it, which no doubt would have catapulted us to play-off flirtation. Oldham and Grimsby at home springs to mind. Nevertheless, it’s an improvement on last season. But still not as pleasing on the eye as we would like.
Q: What are your views on Head Coach Colin Calderwood?
A: Colin Calderwood was brought into the club last December to steer the ship for the remainder of the campaign, if you like. He achieved what was no doubt the aim when it got to March time - avoiding relegation. In the summer, he, along with the staff, made some impressive signings, adding further depth to the squad and providing competition in all areas. Being plagued by injuries to key men hasn’t helped, but overall he’s done a satisfactory job so far. Is he the man to take this club forward? That question has come under fire the precious few weeks, which is understandable as the performances aren’t pretty. There’s very few shots on target in games and the United faithful aren’t being entertained. As we know, football can change so quickly, so a few positive or negative results now during this busy Christmas schedule could prove make or break.
Q: Given the recent financial problems and ownership issues of lower league clubs are Cambridge in a stable state at the moment?
A: Relatively stable. Financial readings for the past few seasons have been poor, to say the least. We’re said to have a “competitive budget,” which is obviously music to the United faithfuls ears. But it’s hard to tell just how truthful that really is. A lot has been discussed on that matter of late, we are open for further backing and further investment, but as we’ve learnt so well over the past year, it could be a lot worse. Still, we remain cautious.
Q: What are your expectations and predicted finishing position in League Two for Cambridge this season?
A: Before the season, when you put into account the calibre of players we signed, mid-table was the absolute minimum. Which would be a vast improvement compared to last season. However, ever since we were promoted back to this league in 2014, we haven’t shown too many signs of improvement being completely honest. We’re yet to take it to the next level, which is a shame. I’d be more than content with 12th, personally, and then hopefully kick on next season. Whether that will happen, or if we’ll regress like we have a tendency to do, is hard to predict as of yet. But like many other fans, we want to be entertained. That’s a major starting point.
Q: Without giving too much away what style of football and formation are Cambridge likely to use against Argyle?
A: Although it’s stirred up some debate over the past few weeks, it’s looking extremely likely that we’ll play with 5 at the back. Something which Colin Calderwood has come accustomed to thus far this season. Has it proved effective as we initially thought it would? Unfortunately not. We’re still prone to silly errors at the back and seem to be isolated up too, despite the efforts of loan striker Sam Smith, a shining beacon so far this season. We do have some bite and creativity in the middle of the park, especially in the likes of tricky loan midfielder Jack Roles and the energetic Luke Hannant, who you could play anywhere and he’d put in a shift. Let’s hope we utilise that.
Q: Looking from afar what are your views on Plymouth Argyle?
A: I like Plymouth. They’ve got a good manager in Ryan Lowe, he knows the division extremely well now. As do his players, which I think is invaluable. Despite a relatively shaky start, you look to be on your way now to where you should be. It’s always refreshing seeing a team play out from the back, and now you’re starting to take more of these chances and dealing better with crosses into the box than what you previously were, I see a good second half of the campaign. Danny Mayor and Antoni Sarcevic are fantastic players to have in the squad, I like the look of Josh Grant too.
Q: And finally do you have a prediction for the game?
A: Form favours Argyle, no doubt about that. It’s been a month since United last graced The Abbey, so I’m hoping that will fire them up to perform. For our sake! The betting man in me says 2-0 Plymouth, but the optimistic one says it’ll be 1-1.
Cambridge manager Colin Calderwood spoke about playing against Argyle ...
Cambridge injury news - midfielder Samir Carruthers is expected to return from injury and play against Argyle ... Cambridgeshire Live
Argyle keeper Alex Palmer talks about current form and looks ahead to the game ... club website
We know that Cambridge away from home will be a tough game, but we also know that if we play as well as we can, we can get a result. I played them last year when I made my debut for Oldham. They are a good team and have good players, but it is about us.”
Cambridge manager Colin Calderwood spoke about the game ...
“There’s a number of players that obviously came from Bury and are down there. It’s no surprise that the club is edging towards the top at the minute and seem to be leading the way.
“They are probably the ones that everyone had picked out for promotion, maybe with one or two others.
“We’ve got a tough test on our hands. It’s a team in good form against a team who everyone says are not in good form. "Hopefully, Plymouth will find a team in good spirits and aggressively trying to win the game.”
“We have to win to keep the gap between ourselves and the bottom of the play-off teams as close as possible.
“Because Plymouth is above us, there’s an advantage in doing it to them.”
The trip to Cambridge is the 8th longest of the season at 566 miles, there and back.
A guide to Cambridge .... club website and Cambridge stats .... club website
What's On Guide.... CU club website
Cambridge haven't played for 14 days and are refreshed and ready to go ..... Cambridgeshire Live
Around 900 away tickets have been sold.
A sneak peek at the matchday programme ....
CU club website
Steve Schumacher looks ahead to the game ... club website