The new season kicks off with Oxford United visiting Cambridge United at the Abbey Stadium on Saturday (3pm) in Sky Bet League 1
United have seven new signings this summer: four familiar faces and three new boys. Gavin Whyte, Ryan Williams, Nathan Holland and Marcus McGuane return to the U's after loans/previous spells at the club, while Steve Seddon, Jordan Thorniley and Billy Bodin have all joined as the new arrivals at the U's.
Karl Robinson has remained tight-lipped on who they are, but two players involved in the pre-season friendly at Bristol Rovers last week are missing due to self-isolation rules while French striker Derick Osei Yaw is the one player ruled out through injury with a tight hamstring.
The Manager himself is the other absentee: he serves the last of his four-game suspension hanging over from last season and will be in the stand rather than in the dug out for his 600th game as a Manager.
See Karl previewing the game in iFollow right now where we have Steve Seddon as our guest in the new look Preview Show.
There are two familiar faces at Cambridge in former boss Gary Waddock and striker Sam Smith, formerly on loan at the Kassam Stadium. Waddock is now assistant to (the other) U’s boss Mark Bonner who is looking forward to a very special atmosphere as crowds return:
“The last week seems to have dragged a little bit waiting for the game to come around, so I think we’re looking forward to it,” the Head Coach said. “I’m really looking forward to what I think will be a good afternoon, and great to feel that intensity and competition back in a packed stadium.
“It’s a long time since supporters have been in the ground in less sterile environments. The numbers have been limited in the few times people have been before, and it’s a blank page to go and attack a new season.
“Playing a team like Oxford, who you know will be there or thereabouts at the end of the season, because they always are and they’ve got such a strong squad, it will be a nice barometer to see where we are on day one.”
Depart: Stadium 11.00 prompt
FOLLOW IT LIVE
If you can't get to the game then you can still HERE/SEE IT LIVE in iFollow depending where you are. In the UK you can hear the whole game thanks to our friends at BBC Oxford Sport, while overseas fans can see the game LIVE, complete with the BBC's commentary
We have coverage on Twitter, Instagram and a report and Gallery right here on the final whistle.
LOOK AFTER EACH OTHER
It's a sell out and there will be a fantastic atmosphere but the most important thing is for everyone to feel safe and comfortable back in a crowded football stadium. We are the Yellow Army, we look after our own. Make sure everyone around you is OK as we get behind Karl and the team.
Cheltenham Town v Oxford United - Extended highlights - Sat 18th September 202118 September 2021