After picking up a point against Cambridge United last week, the U's will be looking to get their first win of 2021 and push themselves back towards the top seven at Morecambe this weekend.
Manager - Derek Adams
Top Scorer(s) - Carlos Mendes Gomes, Adam Phillips (8)
Last Result - Morecambe 1-1 Walsall 19/01/2021
Derek Adams' side missed an opportunity to put themselves back into the play-off places in their last fixture, when they snatched a late goal to earn a point against an out of form Walsall side.
Carlos Mendes Gomes was the man on target at the Mazuma Stadium, scoring with ten minutes left to play. Their point against the Saddlers means that they are just a point out side the top seven, sitting just behind Leyton Orient, although Adams' side have the worst goal difference of any side in the top half of the table, with -5.
Speaking after his team had just earned a point against Walsall, Adams was happy with their performance, given their standing in the table.
"It's really good getting to that thirty-five point mark. We've got a couple of games in hand on the teams above, from that point of view it has been a good night for us." - Derek Adams
"The players keep on going, they have a terrific attitude and they believe they can win every game.
"It was a difficult night for both teams - heavy rain, swirling wind and difficult underfoot. I think both teams tried to get the ball down and play and firdt half we had a good bit of play in the game.
"We probably didn't open them up enough and they got a goal, probaly against the run of play.
"On a night like tonight, it was always going to be difficult but second half, we were very good. We got the ball forward and into really good areas, and were unfortunate not to score more goals."
Despite what their goal difference might suggest, Morecambe have already shown they can be a tough side to come up against this season, being the only visiting team to take three points from Colchester United in the league at the JobServe Community Stadium. John O'Sullivan and Yann Songo'o were on target for the Shrimps back in December, earning them a 2-1 win in north Essex.
Lining up in a similar 4-3-3 formation to Colchester United, Mendes Gomes has been a threat down the left win, along with Phillips playing in the number ten role. They have sixteen goals between them this season, with Adam Phillips assisting another five goals, they will be the danger men to look out for on Saturday afternoon.
At the back, Mark Halstead has made himself the preferred 'keeper recently, playing in the nine games in all competitions, keeping two clean cheets in the 2020/21 campaign.
Sitting just in front of Halstead is the captain, Sam Lavelle - an ever present figure in the side. Over the last few games he has been partnered with former Carlisle and Bradford City defender Nathaniel Knight-Percival, a central defender who has experience in getting out of League Two, with Shrewsbury Town.
Aaron Wildig plays in the holding midfield position just ahead of the defence, and has been a key part of the Shrimps' side since joining in 2015. Having racked up almost 200 appearances in the fourth tier for Morecambe, Wildig will see this season as an opportunity to get into League One, should Adams' side finish the season strongly.
The U's will be looking to build on their positive point from last weekend, when they drew 1-1 with the now league leaders, Cambridge United.
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