Oxford vs Northampton by Luke
A break from League One duties probably came in the right momentum for the players of Oxford United who failed to get a victory in last three league matches, taking just a point in matches against Charlton and Rotherham at home, but then suffering 2:0 defeat on the road against Fleetwood Town as well. They had a decent game back then, but failed to respond in last phase of the match conceding both goals in last several minutes of the clash.
After this match the side slipped down the table for a couple of more positions, now being at tenth position - with just still two points less than safely placed Blackburn. As for the Cup games, they suffered exclusion to Port Vale in FA Cup, but also lost in Checkatrade Trophy game last Tuesday evening at home against Milton Keynes Dons 3:4, rotating their squad a bit and experimenting, but still managing to progress further into the competition getting the second position over Stevenage and Brighton U23 in Group 15.
Defenders Ricardinho (14/1) and Mike Williamson (9/0) are both doubtful but with chances to play. Sidelined for this round are defenders Sam Long and Charlie Raglan both without playing so far anyway, but also midfielder Ivo Pekalski (didn't play either) and forwards Agon Mehmeti (2/1) and Gino van Kessel (10/2).
Northampton, on the other side, comes actually in a very decent form now, as the side has two consecutive victories in League One are undefeated in last three. They had a 2:2 draw away to Rochdale, but also come from narrow victories on the road to Gillingham 1:2 and at home in the most recent League One game in a 1:0 victory over Blackpool, both times earning their victories in very difficult manner.
After two consecutive victories, players of Northampton climbed up at the table from the rock bottom position to 21st and are now actually sharing the safely placed position together with AFC Wimbledon, but still having just four points more than rock bottom placed Plymouth. As for the Cup competition, they had a goalless draw against Scunthorpe in FA Cup and will be playing second leg, while they also won over Southampton U23 squad on penalties at home last Tuesday evening to clinch their progress to the next phase of the competition.
Visitors are missing defender Regan Poole (9/1) who is out with a national selection duty, while injured are defender Leon Barnett (5/1), midfielder Aaron Phillips (2/0) and forward Alex Revell (12/1). Doubtful are midfielder John-Joe O'Toole (4/0) and forward Sam Hoskins (7/1).
- Oxford United failed to win in last five competitive matches.
Oxford United surely wants to respond here with much better performance and claim their position back to the play-off teams as soon as possible, while Northampton did probably over perform a bit in previous League One matches and they escaping with another positive result would be too much for them in my eyes. Hosts should be able to prevail easy or hard here.