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This Week's Opposition: Cambridge United

Photo Credit: Cambridge United

A very rewarding 700 mile trip to Carlise at the weekend saw the blues win 1-0 with an incredible assist from substitute Abu Kamara setting up another goal for Paddy Lane to seal the victory and bring him up to 10 goals this campaign.

The Blues have played the most games of any side in the division this season but have a 6 point cushion at the top following Saturday’s win in Cumbria.

John Mousinho’s side now face 2 consecutive home fixtures - The first team we face is Cambridge United under the Fratton Park floodlights.

MANAGER

The U’s have a new man in the dugout since these teams met last year… Neil Harris is now at the helm.

Harris is Milwall’s all-time record goalscorer with 138 goals in all competitions. He broke the previous record of 111 goals, which was held by none other than Teddy Sheringham.

The 46-year-old also made the 4th most appearances for Millwall with 432. The former striker also played for the likes of Cambridge City, Nottingham Forest and Southend United with loan spells at Cardiff City and Gillingham too.

Harris retired from playing in June 2013 and took up a coaching role at Millwall. Having briefly acted as caretaker-manager after the dismissal of Steve Lomas at the start of 2014, he was given the same role following the dismissal of Ian Holloway in March 2015. Harris was confirmed as permanent manager of Millwall a month later.

He was appointed manager of Championship side Cardiff City in November 2019 but a year and 2 months later his fate there was sealed after a run of 6 straight defeats.

In January 2022, Harris took over at League One side Gillingham, signing a 2-and-a-half-year deal with the Kent side. He was unable to save them from the drop down to League Two.

On December the 6th 2023, Harris was appointed as head coach of Cambridge United on an 18-month contract.

ONE TO WATCHSullay_Kaikai_CamUtd

Sullay Kaikai is our one to watch this Tuesday night.

A youth product of Crystal Palace, he made his senior debut on loan at Crawley Town in 2014. Kaikai returned to Crystal Palace and his debut for The Eagles in the 3rd Round of the Carabao Cup, coming on in the 80th minute against Newcastle United at Selhurst Park, where he equalised the game in added time - Palace would go on to lose 3-2. 

The winger went on to complete loan spells at Crawley, Cambridge United, Shrewsbury Town on 2 occasions, as well as Brentford and Charlton Athletic.

Kaikai signed for NAC Breda but after 6 appearances he returned to England and joined League One side Blackpool on a 2-year contract. He then went on to make the switch to Wycombe Wanderers.

After then making 14 appearances for MK Dons, Kaikai moved to Cambridge. So far this campaign he has made 27 appearances across all competitions  and has scored 2 league goals and 1 FA Cup goal.

The 28-year-old wears the number 14 shirt for The Amber Army.

TOP SCORER

Gassan Ahadme is the current top goalscorer.

The striker started his career at Norwich City and had loan spells at Real Oviedo B. He also moved on loan to Portsmouth in July 2021, making 5 appearances and scoring his first goal in an EFL Trophy tie against the Crystal Palace Under-21s.

He signed for Burton Albion the following January, where he would make 20 appearances and score 6 goals. One of those goals marked the fastest goal in Burton history in a 4-3 defeat to Cambridge United - His strike hit the back of the net after just 11 seconds.

Ahadme then joined Norwich’s rivals Ipswich Town, scoring his first goal for the club in an FA Cup tie against Buxton last January.

He returned to Burton on another loan spell before joining The U’s on loan in June 2023.

Ahadme has scored 7 goals so far this campaign and wears the number 23 shirt.

CURRENT FORM

Cambridge started the campaign top of League One after an impressive first 4 games of the season, however the side saw a downfall and bad run of form which led to the sacking of Mark Bonner, who paid the price after 3 years and nine months in charge.

Now the Blues face a Cambridge side in 16th place and under new management of Neil Harris, who has been able to secure 15 points from 10 matches at the club.

Their last 5 games have ended in 2 victories, 2 draws and 1 defeat - That recent defeat happened on Saturday, losing 1-0 at home to relegation-threatened Cheltenham Town.

The last time these teams met was for a goalless draw at the Abbey Stadium on the 24th of October. The Blues had 62% possession on that night but couldn't get the ball into the back of the net, even after 18 shots.

Can the Blues keep up their good form and mark 3 wins on the spin?

Tune in for all of the unmissable action when on Pompey Live returns this Tuesday (February 13th) evening from 7pm.

Kick-off: 7:45pm!

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