BIG MATCH PREVIEW – ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW
With Stags flying high in fifth place and visiting Cambridge United bottom place without a League win to their name, manager Adam Murray is right to be wary of Saturday’s showdown.
He still believes the U’s will finish in the top seven this season and that his side will have to be on their mettle to win this weekend.
But the Stags are boosted by the news that Matt Green did not leave during the transfer window, which closed last night, and now have two home games in which to cement their place in that leading pack.
STAGS TEAM NEWS
Stags will include new loan signing Alex Iacovitti, from Nottingham Forest, in the squad, though he is likely to start on the bench.
On the treatment table for Stags are Kyle Howkins, Chris Clements, Jamie McGuire and Chris Clements while striker Danny Rose sits out the last of his three game suspension.
Murray made seven changes in midweek for the EFL Trophy game and could make as many again on Saturday.
POSSIBLE STAGS STARTING XI
Shearer; Bennett, Pearce, Taft, Benning; Collins; Mitch Rose, Chapman, Hurst; Henderson, Green.
CAMBRIDGE TEAM NEWS
Barry Corr and Elliot Omozusi are ruled out long-term with knee and foot injuries, while Harrison Dunk is still on his way back from a hamstring injury suffered in the first game of the season against Barnet.
But George Maris and Adam McGurk may both be in contention to the squad for the Mansfield game after being out with thigh and knee problems.
Brad Halliday, who signed from Middlesbrough for an undisclosed fee on Tuesday, could well come straight into the team to make his debut at right-back.
POSSIBLE CAMBRIDGE STARTING XI
Will Norris, Brad Halliday, Greg Taylor, Leon Legge, Tom Dallison, James Dunne, Luke Berry, Piero Mingoia, Jake Gosling, Ben William.
KEY BATTLE: MATT GREEN v LEON LEGGE
Centre-back Leon Legge is the rock on which United are built and an obstacle Matt Green will have to get past to add to his three goals so far.
One of the most dependable performers in the team since he arrived last summer from Gillingham, Legge won almost every player of the year award last season and is one of the few players to have maintained a consistent level so far this season.
However, Green will be on an emotional high after pledging his future to the club before transfer deadline day on Wednesday.
Click HERE to read a fascinating in interview with Legge on his epilepsy
CAMBRIDGE ONE TO WATCH: PIERO MINGOIA
Right-winger Piero Mingoia has the ability to cause havoc against any defence in the division.
He was a key member of the Accrington side that reached the League Two play-offs against the odds last season and began his time with United with a bang by scoring on his debut against Barnet.
Mingoia followed it up by making it two goals in two games with a 30-yard wonder strike against Sheffield Wednesday in the EFL Cup.
OPPOSITION MANAGER: SHAUN DERRY
Shaun Derry took charge of United last November having previously been manager of Notts County.
He brought an enthusiastic new approach to the club after taking over from Richard Money and wears his heart on his sleeve on the touchline.
Derry is a firm believer in trying to press teams high up the pitch, but also likes players who can fit into a number of different roles so that systems can be changed without too much fuss during matches.
CAMBRIDGE SEASON SO FAR
There was a high level of expectation that United could carry on where they left off last season after finishing ninth and make a go of trying to get into the play-offs this season.
But the start to the season has been anything but United would have hoped as they lie bottom of the table and are still searching for their first win in the league.
Their best performances have come in the cup competitions (against Sheffield Wednesday and Wolves in the EFL Cup and Shrewsbury in the Checkatrade Trophy), but there is a pressing need to take those displays and results into the league, starting at Mansfield on Saturday.
Saturday, 7th May 2016: Mansfield Town 0, Cambridge United 0
Mansfield Town were unable to end the season on a win as they were held 0-0 by Cambridge United at One Call Stadium this afternoon.
That left Adam Murray’s men finishing in 12th position after a typical end of season game in warm sunshine.
There were few chances at either end, though Matt Green did have an effort ruled out for offside just before the break.
Ryan Tafazolli, out of contract this summer, was injured in the first half and replaced at the break, with Stags fans wondering if that was the last they will see of him.
There was a debut as sub for youth team player Zayn Hakeem, and he and the inspirational Lee Collins brought fresh impetus with their energy to a much better second half for the Stags.
But no one could find a finishing touch in a game that contained only one real on-target effort with both keepers more likely to get a suntan than make a real save.
Stags could at least take heart from a clean sheet against one of the better sides in the division.
Click HERE to read the full match report
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