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Match Previews

Sutton v Exeter preview

31 December 2021

Match Previews

Sutton v Exeter preview

31 December 2021

After sitting out the festive football programme so far, Sutton and Exeter return to action at the VBS Community Stadium on Saturday.

U's last Sky Bet League Two game was a fortnight ago against Harrogate, although a number of first team players featured in the Surrey Senior Cup tie against Sheerwater three days later, but for Exeter the wait has been a week longer, with the 1-0 home defeat against Tranmere on December 11th the last time they took to the field.

While the two postponements involving Sutton in the past week were due to Covid cases among the opposition, Exeter's were due to an outbreak in their own camp, but sufficient players have recovered for them to make the trip to Sutton, while as Matt Gray explains in the interview in the video gallery below, Sutton are now not without Covid issues but, again, have enough players to meet the EFL criteria to fulfil the game.

Exeter will be the first team that U's have met twice in the league, the visit to St James Park in September producing a fine performance that lacked only goals before Exeter struck twice on the break in the last quarter of the game. Ben Goodliffe's own goal rubbed salt in U's wounds before Sam Nombe's first goal of what has turned in to a good season for the striker, although he hasn't played since coming off with a hamstring injury in the FA Cup defeat at Cambridge four weeks ago.

That win in September came in the middle of a run that saw Exeter go over three months without a league defeat, the 3-0 reverse at Leyton Orient in mid-August their last until a defeat at Colchester in late November, but following that setback in Essex they have taken just one point from a possible nine and currently lie in 8th place, Swindon having gone above them with Wednesday's draw against Stevenage.

Sutton also dropped a place over Christmas without playing, Tranmere moving up to third on Boxing Day, and as well as any other selection issues U's will be without captain Craig Eastmond as the game will be the third of his suspension after his red card at Newport nearly a month ago - the skipper will also miss Tuesday's Papa John's Trophy game against Colchester through a different suspension after collecting two cautions in the competition.

The referee tomorrow is Alan Young, who officiated a number of games involving Sutton at National League level.

Tickets are still on sale to Sutton supporters here, and will also be on sale from the ticket kiosk before the game to Sutton supporters only. Exeter have sold out their allocation. The bars will be open to Sutton supporters before and after the game.

If you are coming to the game, for the safety of yourself and others we would ask if possible that you take a lateral flow test before setting out, although as our ground falls below the threshold limits for that to be a requirement we do not require confirmation of this. Please remember to bring a face covering that should be worn in any indoor areas, on public transports and in busy areas of the ground. And if you are showing any Covid symptoms, please stay at home.

Click here for more guidelines, and for the love of live football and fellow fans, thank you for following the guidance and please keep safe.

If you can't get to the game you can listen to an audio commentary on iFollow. Anyone without a monthly (£4.49) or seasonal(£45) pass can buy a match pass for £2.50 by clicking here. You can also order the match programme, which also covers Wednesday's postponed game against Colchester, here

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