Oxford United (A) 22nd Sept, 3pm


#1

"And that sweet city with her dreaming spires,
She needs not June for beauty’s heightening"

(“Thyrsis” - Matthew Arnold)

IF there was any pressure on the players to maintain their League One unbeaten run, Doncaster Rovers removed it last Saturday in no uncertain terms. So we now travel to The Kassam Stadium to face a Karl Robinson side apparently struggling in the relegation zone with only one win in their 8 games, and a goal difference of -9 to boot. A relatively easy 3 points, you might think? Not necessarily - it’s becoming evident that although a very small number of clubs will be virtually un-catchable at either end of the table, the majority will provide strong opposition particularly on their own turf. There is a further factor which may affect this game, which is that next Tuesday United are at home to Manchester City in the Carabao Cup (remember that?) - and players may well be (a) busting a gut to cement their place, or (b) playing it safe to avoid injury. Either way, the fixture may well be a complicating thought! United’s League One form:-

18 Aug Portsmouth (A) Lost 4-1
21 Aug Accrington Stanley (H) Lost 2-3
25 Aug Burton Albion (H) Won 3-1
1 Sep Sunderland (A) Drew 1-1
9 Sep Coventry City (H) Lost 1-2
15 Sep Wycombe Wanderers (A) Drew 0-0

Dean Keates has the task of motivating his squad back to the winning ways shown earlier this season. We are actually equal with Oxford United in one respect - both sides have only managed one clean sheet in League One games so far, and that must surely be a concern for a manager whose mantra was often quoted as “having a tight defence”

Apart from the well-known members on the treatment table (Edwards, Roberts) Keates has a fully fit squad at his disposal, and it will be interesting to see which of the already-used systems he favours - it could be 4-2-4, 4-3-3, or even 4-1-4-1. Decisions, decisions…

Prediction? No Karl Robinson team can be assumed to be a pushover (taking the lead at Sunderland and holding on for a point tells you all you need to know on that score), and I would be satisfied with a clean sheet draw 0-0, but extremely happy with a 0-1 win (Cook back on song).


#2

First away of the season, looking forward to visiting their three sided ground for the first time. Interested to see how badly the cars parked behind the goal get hit from wayward shots!

As for the game, feels like it’s time for a win but can see it being a frustrating 1-1. Always amusing to see a Karl Robinson team struggle but they do have some decent players in the final third like Obika and Ricky Holmes who is very good winger in league 1 so defence could be lacking a bit of confidence after Doncaster game.


#3

Based on form, it should be 1-3.

So I’ll go 1-3.


#4

I will be in sunny Spain but I hope to hear that we have won but I think it will be a draw.UTS


#5

I think we might lose this one , I think a lot will hinge on Osbourne and his performance…

3-1 Oxford


#6

I don’t see Osbourne in the team to be honest. Kinsella should replace him as the holding midfielder.


#7

I’d like to see 4-2-3-1, similar to the Barnsley game. Zeli needs to start as does Ronan in an attacking midfield position. I’d also rather have Kinsella on the pitch than Osbourne but either or.

But even if he sticks to 4-4-2 I think we will win. This is the kind of game that if we hadn’t had such a good start maybe labelled must win or relegation battle and after a free swing against Barnsley and a, to be quite honest, capitulation against Donny this needs to be a bounce back to keep the feel good atmosphere going.


#8

Would like to see Dobson, Kinsella and Ronan across the midfield with Gino and Zeli on the flanks.

Believe we’re stronger away when we press, disrupt then counter with pace.


#9

Don’t disagree one bit , he’s looked really slow and off the pace just recently. Kinsella has improved but for me it just makes the centre of midfield a little inexperienced. But hey maybe it’s worth a punt.


#10

I’m feeling another loss on the cards. 2-0 Oxford. UTS, Twitter and Facebook to go into absolute meltdown coinciding with a spate of suicides in Walsall.


#11

After losing so badly last week, I’m very nervous about this one.

I’m not going to predict it because it will be the kiss of death I think.


#12

A second successive defeat will see the boo boys back.

Sadly …


#13

It really won’t.


#14

I hope not.


#15

Boo boys I hope not lets face it all of us would have took this as a start to any season. UTS.


#16

I was being sarcastic. Doubt the boo boys will be out


#17

Will give this a miss…aggregate score on my visits to Oxford 10-4 defeat.


#18

I wouldn’t have thought so.

The amount of fans in the top tier that stood and applauded the players after the match on Saturday was very encouraging. Well deserved to.


#19

“I’m not going to predict it because it will be the kiss of death I think.”

Added to the fact, that you’re absolutely laughably hopeless at it. I’m much better and this makes me a better person. Better on every level, especially musically.


#20

That’s because I always predict correctly. You know this because you always copy me. Musically you are very charitable I have to admit because you champion the very worst songs in order to give these poor artists encouragement. I respect that. Also you are a far better pervert than I will EVER be.

:grinning::wink: