Oxford United (H) EFL Trophy, Tue November 10th, 7pm

"And that sweet city with her dreaming spires"

Matthew Arnold

After the disappointment of our F A Cup exit at the hands of The Gas, we go again in the one remaining Cup competition open to us - The Papa John’s EFL Trophy, where we do have the prospect of progressing to the knock-out stage. As things stand Oxford United are at the head of our Group, but a Saddlers win would see us leap-frog over them and qualify for the next stage.

This competition gives managers the opportunity to experiment in team selection, rotating the squad and tinkering even more than usual - as an example, Darrell Clarke gave starting places in our most recent EFL Trophy game against Chelsea’s kindergarten side to Rose, Osadebe, Nolan and Bates. No doubt Karl Robinson will have the same outlook, especially as Oxford United’s position in League One is crying out for some sort of kickstart … they are currently down amongst the dead men in that table, having lost 6 of their 9 games so far. Team changes mean that current League form is almost meaningless.

So what will our tinkerman come up with? Rose will probably start, and this is a move that is possibly overdue anyway. Scrimshaw has shown a willingness to show his energy in the cameo roles that have come his way so far, and Elijah would benefit from a rest from the physical demands which the current 2-games-a-week-every-week have placed on him. Adan George (assuming he is match-fit) is another loan youngster who could be given free rein up front.

Predicting a result in this game is almost like licking a finger and holding it aloft to judge wind direction, so for once there will be no forecast here. Suffice it to say that a home win would not only propel us to the next stage of this competition, but it would also have a positive influence on the club going forward to next Saturday’s fixture against the mighty Southend United.


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In a competition that doesn’t really matter it would nevertheless be good to win to earn some much needed cash. I doubt we will but I will pay my £10 to watch it in the hope that some of the fringe players will be given a chance to shine.

You mean the likes of Jules & Osedebe two of the best we have, but Tinkerman don’t rate them, so they don’t feature as long as his mates Clarke & Sinclair continue to take up valuable places to waste?

A good opportunity to rest a few and a good opportunity for the likes of Rose, Scrimshaw.

The permutations of possible outcomes:

  • We win - we are through

  • We draw but win the shootout - we go through only if Bristol Rover and Chelsea draw in the remaining match next week (regardless of the result of their shootout)

  • We draw but lose the shootout - we can only go through if the other game is a draw AND Chelsea win the shootout

  • We lose - we are out as any result will put at least one of them above us

I know many people aren’t that bothered by the competition, but any reason why the last group games have been allowed to be staggered? Usually they take place simultaneously so that teams don’t know what result they can get away with.

Is it because the competition has zero integrity Tone?


I’m getting fed up paying a tenner for DC’'s boring style of football as it is so the chance of me shelling out for a competition that should be put down is non existent.

Yes, if it was marketed as giving kids a chance and a training game, odd as it sounds, I’d be more prepared to watch it.

Thats fine…it is your choice. I have nothing better to do due to this lockdown.Normally it is a pub meal on a Tuesday night and if not that a game of snooker but all enjoyment has been stopped so all I am left with is another Walsall Game :smirk:

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There, corrected that for ya my friend. :wink:

As much as i would like to get through, if for no other reason than financial, it would be great to play some fringe players and rest a few for Saturday. The likes of Elijah, Scarr, Wes, Roberts could probably do with a rest and play the likes of rose, osedebe, George, scrimshaw, ccm, Bates for a full run out. Could even bring one or two of the youngsters from the reserves in to at least go o the bench and give them half an hour to have a run out.

This will probably be the first game all season that i haven’t watched(aint made my mind up yet)
and knowing my luck we will probably win about 3-0 with the sort of tram that i have wanted to see all season.

I think the regulations for EFL Trophy team selection say that a minimum of four players must have played in the club’s most recent competitive match. Plenty of scope there…

DC will have to throw a few dozen more names into his famous ‘pick a team’ hat for this one then!

I’d like to see, even no some fringe players, but rest for main assets in the squad (it means Scrimshaw and George in attack). Result is not that important. It’s important (because injuries for example) not to overstretch squad. So, some nice footy, customary defence mistake and will be ok.

I’ll be saving myself a tenner.

Already paid for the ST so may as well watch it.
The big decision for me will be ale or wine as an accompaniment. Leaning towards ale at the minute but depends what the missus has in mind for dinner. Should be on the telly aswell which will save me having to watch on the laptop.

A 1-1 draw seems likely.

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Need the win because that generates instant cash that the club needs.

Common me babbies!


Arr. Sends mixed messages about the financial situation if we don’t take the competition seriously.

Don’t agree with the format of this but at the moment we should be doing everything possible to win prize money.

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Watched every game so far this season, too - will wait for the line up before shelling out this evening though. This is likely to be our last ‘non-league’ game this season outside of reserves/academy (which we can’t watch) so if DC is serious about blooding the youth due to fixture congestion, this is the ideal opportunity.