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Preview: Cambridge United vs. Plymouth Argyle – prediction, team news, lineups

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Sports Mole previews Tuesday’s League One clash between Cambridge United and Plymouth Argyle, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Plymouth Argyle will go in search of a fifth straight league win on Tuesday, when they travel to take on Cambridge United at the Abbey Stadium.

An eye-catching upturn in form has seen the Pilgrims climb back up to fifth spot in the League One table, while their hosts sit 14th after a win of their own at the weekend.

Match preview

© Reuters

Following their promotion from League Two last season, Cambridge United have had a commendable campaign in England’s third tier, currently sitting 14th after 32 outings.

After three consecutive league wins and an eye-catching 1-0 away victory over Newcastle United in the FA Cup, Mark Bonner‘s side had to battle through a slump, failing to win any of their next four matches in the third tier.

The U’s made a return to winning ways at the weekend, as Sam Smith and Wes Hoolahan got on the scoresheet in a 2-0 home defeat of Accrington Stanley.

That saw Bonner’s men move back above Cheltenham Town and Charlton Athletic and up to 14th spot, with the chance to move back into the top half with a victory on Tuesday.

Cambridge United's Harvey Knibbs celebrates scoring their first goal with teammates on January 18, 2022© Reuters

They face a difficult test though, as Plymouth travel looking for a fifth straight league victory in their promotion bid.

The departure of former manager Ryan Lowe in December seemed to act as a hammer blow for the Pilgrims, as a poor run of form under Steven Schumacher in the aftermath triggered a drop out of the playoff spots.

However, they have since bounced back in eye-catching fashion, firstly arresting a slump with a 3-1 victory over Doncaster Rovers before a valiant effort at Stamford Bridge saw them only narrowly knocked out of the FA Cup by Chelsea after extra time, with Macauley Gillesphey having given them an early lead.

The Home Park outfit then went on to pick up wins over Crewe Alexandra and Shrewsbury Town before making it four league wins on the bounce with a defeat of Gillingham on Saturday.

Jordon Garrick opened the scoring in the first five minutes of the second half, and Luke Jephcott went on to convert a penalty to secure all three points, firing the Pilgrims above Sunderland and Wycombe Wanderers and back into the top six.

Now level on points with fourth-placed Oxford United while only remaining a point ahead of Sunderland, Schumacher’s men will know that it is vital that they continue their impressive form heading into the final months of the season.

Cambridge United League One form:

Cambridge United form (all competitions):

Plymouth Argyle League One form:

Plymouth Argyle form (all competitions):

Team News

Plymouth Argyle's Macaulay Gillesphey celebrates scoring their first goal with teammates on February 5, 2022© Reuters

Mark Bonner is expected to field an unchanged Cambridge starting XI on Tuesday after their 2-0 win last time out, with key striker Joe Ironside remaining out of action alongside Jack Iredale, Greg Taylor and Lloyd Jones.

In the absence of Ironside, Sam Smith will again lead the line after his goal last time out, while Wes Hoolahan offers plenty of quality and experience in the final third.

Schumacher should also refrain from making too many changes, given his side’s eye-catching form, although he has been able to rotate between several goal-scoring forwards.

Luke Jephcott, Ryan Hardie, Jordon Garrick and Niall Ennis have all laid claims for starting spots over the course of the season, and the Pilgrims boss will have the tough task of choosing two of the quartet to lead the line.

Further back, Macauley Gillesphey, James Wilson and James Bolton should again form the back three after consecutive clean sheets.

Cambridge United possible starting lineup:
Mitov; Williams, Okedina, Sherring, Dunk; Digby, May; Knibbs, Hoolahan, Brophy; Smith

Plymouth Argyle possible starting lineup:
Cooper; Edwards, Wilson, Gillesphey, Bolton, Grant; Camara, Houghton, Mayor; Jephcott, Garrick

SM words green background

We say: Cambridge United 1-2 Plymouth Argyle

While Cambridge will have renewed confidence after their win at the weekend, Plymouth arrive at the peak of their powers, and we fancy them to post a fifth straight league win on Tuesday.

Schumacher’s side have plenty of momentum on their side, and, with an abundance of attacking talent, they will expect to return home with all three points.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting under 3.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Under 3.5:curl

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