Salford City are the U's first opponents for February, with Steve Ball and Hayden Mullins taking their team to the Peninsula Staidum on Tuesday night, looking for their first win of 2021.
Manager - Richie Wellens
Top Scorer(s) - Ian Henderson (8)
Last Result - Oldham Athletic 2-1 Salford City 30/01/2021
Wellens' Salford City side are the perennial promotion favourties to get out of whatever league they are in, due to the heavy financial backing behind the Greater Mancherster side.
But after failing to do so last season, those high up at Salford decided it was time for a change early in the season, with Graham Alexander being removed, with last season's title winning manager brought in.
And although on paper Wellens and Salford City might seem the perfect match, they have struggled to tie up on the pitch, with the Ammies' faultering and sitting just outside the play-off places, in eighth, two points behind Newport County.
Last time out, there was a late sting in the tail in the Ammies' last game, after they were turned over by Oldham Athletic with two goals in the last fifteen minutes. Former U's striker, Ian Henderson put Salford in front in the opening ten minutes, but they failed to build on their lead, with Oldham completing the turnaround two minutes into stoppage time, thanks to KD Davis.
"I'm devestated, I'm gutted for the players because it's probably a game where we should have been out of sight at half time." - Richie Wellens
"We played some really good football in difficult conditions and then second half it becomes a little bit of a battle because we are dealing with the same stuff what Oldham were having to deal with in the first half.
"I would have been disappointed with a point to be honest, we were unlucky we hit the post twice, Richie Towell’s gone off the crossbar and it’s in and we’ve had so many opportunities to slide the last pass in, people are through one on one, so I’m absolutely devastated. We can say we were unlucky, but it was still criminal to lose that game."
The Ammies are now winless in three, with their last victory coming on the 12th January, on their travels to Scunthorpe United when Ian Henderson's eighty-ninth minute winner sealed the game for Wellens.
Henderson is the top scorer at Salford City this season, with eight goals to his name from twenty-eight appearances in all competitions. The thirty-six-year-old signed from League One Rochdale in the summer, where he had been since 2013, making a total of 343 appearances, scoring 126 goals in the seven years at Spotland.
Another dangerman for Wellens' side is former Manchester United striker James Wilson. The twenty-five-year-old made twenty appearances for the Red Devils between 2013 and 2015, scoring four goals. This season he has also scored six goals, being deployed just behind Henderson who is the lone striker.
Further back for the Ammies, twenty-year-old loanee from Manchester United Di'Shon Bernard carries a goal threat despite playing at centre back. He has two for the season in fifteen games, while his defendive partner Ashley Eastham brings over 300 games worth of experience, being an ever-present fixture in the Salford defence this season with twenty-five appearances so far.
The game will be played behind closed doors due to the current COVID-19 restrictions, but you can still keep up with the action with a £10 match pass from iFollow. Click HERE to get yours.