PREVIEW: Oxford United v Wanderers

Wanderers hit the road for the first leg of an away-day double header as the finishing straight in the League One play-off race approaches.

Ian Evatt’s men go to Burton Albion on Tuesday night but first face Oxford United at the Kassam Stadium on Saturday.

Wanderers have been in solid form on the road and will be looking to keep picking up points against sides fighting at the other end of the table ahead of a three-game home run as they look to seal a top-six spot.

Oxford are 20th in the table and looking to keep themselves clear of the relegation places with four of their last six games at home.

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Manager quotes:

Ian Evatt: “We have a big week of home games coming up. But for now, we’re fully focused on two challenging away games and two teams fighting for their live at the bottom of the division.

“These teams are desperate for results. We are as well, so there’s an equal amount of pressure on these teams as there is on us.

“For us, it’s just playing to the level I believe we can play at. And if we do, we’ve got a chance of winning the games.

“I think Liam (Manning) is undefeated since he has gone in at Oxford, so we have to be at our best and find the right solutions to win the game.”

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Oxford United manager Liam Manning:

“We are unbeaten in four now which is a real positive and if you look at the number of goals we have conceded then we have improved in that.

“Now we want to add the next bit, which is scoring goals. The platform for that to happen has to be that we are compact and hard to beat and we have done a good job of that so far.

“So let’s keep that and then try to add a bit more quality at the other end of the pitch.

“If you look at chances we have created in the last two games they have come from people running from deep and we have looked dangerous on the counter attack.”

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Team news:

Wanderers are stretched by injuries with defenders Ricardo Almeida Santos, Eoin Toal and Jack Iredale all out.

Jon Dadi Bodvarsson and Lloyd Isgrove are not yet ready to return, while manager Ian Evatt may also have other unnamed concerns.

Oxford are with midfielder James Henry and forward Sam Baldock, who have both been ruled out for the remainder of the campaign.

Forward Billy Bodin may also be missing and January signing Stephan Negru is also out for the U’s after the defender suffered a head injury in Monday’s 0-0 draw at Port Vale.

However, striker Djavan Aanderson may return.

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Form guide:

Wanderers are unbeaten in their last four games and unbeaten in their last three away league games.

The Whites have conceded just one goal in those three away games, as well as keeping a clean sheet in their Wembley win over Plymouth at the start of the month.

Oxford – who are currently one place above the relegation places – are without a win in 14 games.

However, they have drawn their last four games, conceding just twice in the process, and are unbeaten since former MK Dons boss Liam Manning took over to stay outside the drop zone.


Referee: Sebastian Stockbridge

Assistant referee: Lisa Rashid, Steven Plane

Fourth official: Johnathon Bickerdike


Saturday 3pm


Full live commentary will be available on BWFC iFollow with a £2.50 audio match pass which can be purchased HERE


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