The wait is over and Oxford United finally kick off the new Sky Bet League 1 season away at Cambridge United on Saturday (3pm)
A sold out away end, new look squad, brand new kit and high expectations await Liam Manning's side as they look to start the campaign with three points.
United have eight new faces available; James Beadle, Fin Stevens, Jordan Thorniley, Josh McEachran, Ruben Rodrigues, Mark Harris, Stan Mills and Max Woltman who joined from Liverpool yesterday
Boss Liam Manning was keeping his cards close to his chest in his pre-match interviews, with a couple of knocks and twinges likely to influence his final selection, but captain Elliott Moore told iFollow that whoever starts, the whole squad is ready:
"It has been very structured this summer but you always have it in mind that you are getting ready for that first game" he said. "Even in the pre-season matches, you are pushing to be ready for the first league game.
"Saturday's game is massive and really exciting. It’s what you think about when you first step back into the building for pre-season. Cambridge will be a brilliant way to start with the fans there to back us. We are really looking forward to it. This summer has been excellent and the togetherness of the group is very strong even after a short time together. The new lads are part of it already.
"We have worked hard in training and now we have to put that into action in a real game. We did it in the friendlies but this will be totally different, we know that. Winning is the aim every game though so we are definitely going there looking for three points".
You can see Elliott, Sam Long and Liam Manning previewing the game in iFollow right now.
Cambridge Boss Mark Bonner is naturally looking for his side to start the season with a home win:
“There’s a lovely energy around the place, everyone’s fresh and ready to go" he said "We’ve got a busy first month, that’s often the way, but I think everybody can’t wait to get back to the Abbey in what will be a really full stadium and a brilliant atmosphere, as is always the case on day one.”
“We’ve got the core of a team that’s been with us in the past, but there’s a lot of change there - that’s an exciting scenario… Although it’s a fourth season for me, this feels like a new start and fresh team, and we’re really enjoying the work that we’re doing together already.”
“We want to see if we can be as competitive as we can in the league. It’s very difficult to make so many predictions and understand maybe what the league will look like – it’s probably double figures of games before you can get any pattern or structure to the season.”
There is a familiar face in the Cambridge squad in Jack Stevens who will be hoping to keep a clean sheet against his former club.
United will be wearing their eye-catching new Third Kit for the first time tomorrow. Go With The Flow and order yours HERE
The away end is SOLD OUT which will mean a fantastic backing for Liam Manning's side but fans without tickets should not travel.
LONDON ROAD TRAVEL CLUB
Coaches will depart the Kassam Stadium at 11:15am with a pick up at Kidlington Sainsbury’s at 11:30am
|Adult Non Member||£23|
|Under 18 Member||£18|
|Under 18 Non Member||£21|
Membership is available now, saving you money on all away travel throughout the season.
CLICK HERE or call 01865 337533 to book your place on the coaches or to become a member.
If travelling by train, Cambridge recommend using the Cambridge North Station and following the Chisholm trail. It is a 15-to-20-minute walk to the station.
PARK & RIDE
Street parking around the Stadium is restricted. An alternative is to use the Park & Ride service. It is situated near the airport to the east of the city and is about a 20 minute walk to the ground along Newmarket Road. The cost of using the service for fans is £3.00 return. More information can be found HERE
PARKING IS FREE FOR SUPPORTERS USING THE PARK & RIDE SITE AND WALKING TO THE GROUND
AT THE GROUND
There is a family zone outside the club shop on matchdays, weather permitting. All families are welcome to enjoy the family area. The family zone opens at 1pm CLICK HERE for more information
Turnstiles will be open from 1.30pm. Food and drink kiosks will be open then. Cambridge are now operating contactless payments inside the ground.
There will be Abbey Helpers situated around the ground to assist supporters before the match with any questions.They are also located around the South Stand to assist on arrival inside the ground
Cambridge have launched a new app for supporters from both sides to use. It is designed to reduce anxiety for SEN Children. More information about the app can be found HERE
Audio For All is also available for anyone wanting to use the service
Sound Sensory Packs can be organised HERE
There will be a physical programme produced for the match. They will be on sale at the Club Shop, Programme Exchange, and within the South Stand. Cambridge United is a now cash free stadium so a contactless card is required within the ground.
iFollow coverage is available to hear in the UK and watch overseas, with full commentary from our friends at BBC Oxford Sport.
We'll have our usual full coverage across all official channels as well.