With two victories and seven goals scored in the last two games, albeit one against a team of teenagers, things are looking up somewhat for City as Paul Tisdale attempts to steer his side to a first home league victory of the season. Tisdale has to do without Jake Taylor, the recent central midfield convert having picked up his fifth booking of the campaign in the 4-1 thrashing of Barnet. Matt Oakley was considered likely to replace him but may be an injury doubt after limping off from the 3-2 win over the Chelsea youngsters, meaning Joel Grant could step in instead after a lively display on Tuesday. Jordan Moore-Taylor, Ollie Watkins and Reuben Reid were also walking wounded from the Checkatrade Trophy win but all will expect to be fit for Saturday.
It’s fair to say that similar to City, Cambridge have not had the start to the season their supporters would have envisaged. With a reasonably expensive squad containing vast experience at third and fourth tier level, Shaun Derry’s side would expect to be challenging at least around the playoffs rather than going into Saturday’s fixture as just one of four clubs beneath City in the table. It took until September 24th and a visit to bottom side Newport before they recorded their first victory, one of four straight wins (including a Checkatrade Trophy win over Middlesbrough U23) before returning to earth with a draw and, on Saturday, a home defeat to Grimsby – so far the only side not to return from a league visit to Exeter with all three points. With former City striker Barry Corr still injured there are likely to be returns to the city for ex-Grecians James Dunne and Jake Gosling, while the main goalscoring threat comes from joint top scorers Luke Berry and Piero Mingoia.
City’s recent record against Cambridge has been excellent, with no defeats since a 2-1 reverse at the Abbey Stadium in 2006, a match remembered more for the horrific injury suffered by Adam Davies of Cambridge. Last season saw that rarest of things, a City double, thanks to 1-0 wins at home (Nichols) and away (Watkins). Despite recent form, it’s Cambridge with the overall league head-to-head lead, with 21 wins to City’s 16 (11 draws).
The match officials will be:-
Referee: Robert Jones
Assistant Referees: Matt Eva and Mark Derrien
Fourth Official: John Flynn
His only game in charge of Exeter is the game away to Crewe earlier this season.