Cambridge United travel to Sunderland on Saturday for what will be the Black Cats’ final home game of the season.
Cambridge currently sit 12th in the league whilst Sunderland are seventh and as it stands, a single goal off being in the play-offs.
The Black Cats will no doubt be eager to get the win this weekend to try and secure themselves a play-off spot but U’s boss Mark Bonner is keen to cause an upset.
In his side’s last two away games they have beaten Ipswich Town and Wigan Athletic, both teams who are competing for promotion.
Analysing his opponents, Bonner told Cambridgeshire Live: “There’s no doubt the they’ve got real talent in their team, players that have moved for big money in the past, players that have scored a lot of goals, have just had very good careers, or have got the potential to have them.
“I think when you play at a club like Sunderland, we’ve seen it against a few teams, it’s a heavy shirt to wear, because the expectations are so big, and therefore that can sometimes take its toll. I think in recent weeks they’re finding really good consistency and form at a time when you need it at this stage of the season.
“The problem is, there are a lot of teams doing that, or teams above them that have lost a little bit of rhythm have got the cushion. It’s going to go to the wire, and I’m sure for them, this game’s a pivotal one, and one they look at and think ‘right, we need three points from this one, because this would set us up nicely for the last weekend’.
“It’s their last home game of the season in the 46 games, and I think it’ll be a brilliant occasion to be part of, and if we can ruin a party and cause a surprise, of course we’d love to do that.”
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Despite acknowledging his opponent’s good form under Alex Neil, the Cambridge boss feels his team can compete as he said: “It’s like all these teams, you look at the squads that they’ve got, you write their team up and you look at the options that they’ve got, they’re players that are certainly top players at this level, but most of them have played, or have got the potential to play, or the experience of playing, in levels above.
“That’s what we’ve come up against all the time, but it doesn’t mean we can’t compete with them.”
Going into this game, Sunderland are the clear favourites to on paper. However, as Bonner points out at this level nothing is secured and either team could win this game on the day.
Furthermore, Cambridge can take the confidence into the game they will have got from beating Ipswich and Wigan away as they know they can get results from games like this.
The game will be a big one for Sunderland and they will be eager to get a result especially playing at home for the last time this season but there is no doubt that Cambridge will do all they can to try and ruin it for the home side.