Keith Curle takes charge of his first Latics game at Boundary Park as his side welcome Cambridge United (3pm KO).
In Curle’s first game as Head Coach, Latics drew 0-0 away to Port Vale and will be looking to build on that defensive display whilst also looking to improve the attacking threat despite mounting injuries.
High-flying Cambridge United are currently on a mixed run of form that has seen them win three and lose the other three in their last six games.
In spite of this, the U’s are still looking good for promotion to League One this season as they sit in second place in the Sky Bet League Two table.
They will be looking to go on a good run of form to put matters back in their hands because they have played at least one more game than anyone else around them at this stage.
The U’s Last Six:
- Bolton Wanderers 2-1 Cambridge United
- Cambridge United 1-0 Walsall
- Cambridge United 0-1 Scunthorpe United
- Port Vale 0-1 Cambridge United
- Cambridge United 0-1 Cheltenham Town
- Mansfield Town 0-3 Cambridge United
Latics wins: 12
Cambridge wins: 6
When the clubs met earlier on in the season, it was Latics who were able to secure an impressive three points at Abbey Stadium.
Ian Lawlor was on hand to deny Paul Mullin from the penalty spot not long before half-time to ensure the score was goalless at the interval.
Two goals in the space of a few minutes from Conor McAleny and Alfie McCalmont saw Latics have a two-goal lead on the hour mark.
Fortunately, Mullin’s goal in stoppage time at the end of the second-half proved just to be a consolation and Oldham went on to another impressive result on the road.
It looks like Zak Dearnley and George Blackwood are out of action for an extended period with injuries.
Marcus Barnes and Cameron Borthwick-Jackson are battling recent knocks and may also miss out again.
Harry Clarke has returned to his parent club for a short period to treat his injury which is a recurrence of the one from earlier in the season.
Kyle Jameson serves the final of his three game suspension after his sending off against Bolton with Ben Garrity and Bobby Grant working hard to regain fitness and get back in the matchday squad.
- We’ve won 11/33 games, exactly a third of our matches.
- That’s slightly lower than our win percentage in 2018/19 (35%), which was the highest since we also achieved 35% in 2008/09.
- We’ve lost 45% of our matches (15/33), higher than any season since 2012/13 (50% that season).
- We’ve drawn 21% of our matches (7/33), our lowest rate since 2012/13.
- Goals per game this season is 1.48, still despite the last two matches our highest goals per game since 2001/02.
- Strong record: P30 W12 D12 L6 Scored 59 Conceded 43
- Almost two a game on average against Cambridge.
- At home: P13 W7 D5 L1 Scored 32 Conceded 15.
- Only home defeat 1-3 in Sept 2000.
- Two matches at home since then, 2-2 in March 2002 and a 3-1 win in November 2018.
- Last defeat against Cambridge 2-0 loss away in March 2001. Since then we are W3 D3.
- Biggest win 6-1 (H) in 1974.
- Not a great record: P17 W4 D5 L8 Scored 11 Conceded 21
- Only win since 1962 was a 2-1 victory at Manchester City in 1999. A classic match, Lee Duxbury scoring the winner.
- Cambridge second, we’re 17th.
- Cambridge have 17 wins to our 11.
- Cambridge have scored one more (50) than we have (49).
- Cambridge have conceded 24 fewer (32) than us (56).
- Cambridge in mixed form - LWLWLW in their last six.
- Hence nine points from last six, to our six points (W1 D3 L2).
- Low scoring in recent matches. Just two goals in our last three matches, and five in their last three.
- It will be Alfie McCalmont’s 25th career start if he starts.
- Cameron Borthwick-Jackson’s 30th start if he starts.
- Bobby Grant is still looking for his 100th career goal.
Watch Out For
Cambridge United boast the deadliest striker in the division in Paul Mullin.
Mullin has a very impressive 23 league goals to his name, that’s five clear of anyone else in the league.
His goalscoring prowess has been a huge reason for the U’s promotion push this season and Latics will have to be wary of the threat he poses.
When the sides met earlier in the season, he did manage to score but also saw his penalty saved by Latics’ keeper.
He initially joined the Us in January 2020 on a loan deal from Tranmere Rovers and he scored two goals in his six games before the season came to an early end.
The striker joined on a permanent basis in July 2020 and he has been in fine form since doing so.
The Merseyside born forward began his senior career at Huddersfield Town and got his first taste of senior football whilst on loan at Vauxhall Motors.
The 26-year-old made his debut in the Football League with Morecambe, where he scored 28 times in 140 games before he moved on to Tranmere the next year.
In The Dugout
Mark Bonner is the man in the dugout for the visitors.
Bonner has been at Cambridge United since June 2011 and has had a number of different roles at the club.
He was appointed permanent Head Coach in March 2020, but he had to wait six months for his first game in charge as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.
This is the 35-year-old's first posting in football management and he has had a good start, having led the Us to a place in the automatic promotion spots currently.
The referee for the fixture is Brett Huxtable.
Taking charge of 24 games so far this season, he has handed out 80 bookings and three red cards.
This will be his second fixture involving Latics, with his last Oldham game being the reverse of this fixture at Cambridge earlier in the season when a limited number of supporters were granted entry. He was also the Fourth Official for the two fixtures at Forest Green Rovers.
He will be assisted by Danny Gratton and Wayne Grunnill. Christopher Sarginson is the Fourth Official.
Sky Bet Odds
Cambridge United have been made slight favourites to get the win at 29/20.
13/8 is the price for Keith Curle to pick up his first win as Latics boss and 12/5 is the price for the draw.
A repeat of Oldham’s 2-1 win in the previous fixture between two sides is 17/2.
How To Follow The Game
Because the game is classed as behind-closed-doors, supporters can tune into a live match stream with commentary available for all subscribers on iFollow Latics, as Roy Butterworth and Mike Leyland talk you through the action.
In the current environment, there is a greater dependence on match streaming than ever before.
As a result iFollow generates one of the only revenue streams available to clubs through these financial challenges.
Piracy - and illegal streaming of matches - does not only carry the risk of potential criminal action, but also has a greater financial impact on clubs while supporters are unable to attend matches.
The EFL's campaign would like to not only convey the message that piracy is immoral and illegal, but that it is also financially damaging club's across the divisions.
Alternatively, supporters can also follow the game with live updates on the club's official Twitter account: @OfficialOAFC.
Oldham Athletic would like to make it clear that all fixtures are still strictly-behind-closed doors with spectators not being allowed entry.
Extensive guidelines are in place for the safety of officials and players whilst the events are taking place.
It is important you do not travel or attempt to visit Boundary Park on the day, especially with the lockdown restrictions in place.