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Opposition View: Oxford United

An insight into Saturday's visitors to Adams Park.

14 January 2022

Wycombe welcome Oxford United to Adams Park in another tough fixture at the top of League One on Saturday.

Ahead of the big game, we spoke to Jack from T’Manor Podcast about what to expect from the U’s.

The previous encounter saw the U’s and Chairboys play out a 0-0 draw at the Kassam. What were the takeaways from that game?

It wasn’t a classic! The game showed that Wycombe had learnt from their season in the Championship with the ability to mix up the play more than in previous encounters between us. Both teams largely cancelled each other out with few clear chances, though we had the majority of the play in the second half. With the experienced heads in your squad, you were able to manage the game well to get an away point whilst we were frustrated at not being able to turn our possession into chances.

It’s looking tight at the top, with both Wycombe and Oxford currently sitting in the top six. How important would a win be for either side on Saturday?

Despite making the play-offs in the last two seasons, we did not take many points off the teams around us. This season has seen us take points from all but two of our games against the current top ten which has included impressive away wins at Sheffield Wednesday and MK Dons. A win for us would help keep the play-off spots condensed and enable one eye to continue looking at push for the top two. A win for Wycombe would put 9 points between the two sides and potentially break up the top six into two clear sections depending on other results. It’s certainly not a season-defining game by any stretch of the imagination, but it would be a big 3 points for either side.

Matty Taylor leads the way for the U’s in the goal scoring tally, but which other players will be key in Saturday’s game?

Mark Sykes has been in good recent goalscoring form with 4 goals in his last 6 games taking him to 8 league goals for the season so far. Left-back Steve Seddon has helped himself to 5 assists as has Northern Ireland international winger Gavin Whyte. Ryan Williams has impressed in his return to the side whilst tricky wideman Nathan Holland is available again after injury. James Henry has added 7 goals to his OUFC total and his next one will take him into the top 10 of all-time scorers for the club.

Karl Robinson may have a few missing players on Saturday with Herbie Kane and Cameron Brannagan potentially unavailable due to suspension and injury respectively. Is there any other team news that we might have missed? What impact might these absences have?

With Alex Gorrin already ruled out for the season, the last thing we needed was more absences in midfield but KR confirmed the club would not be appealing Kane’s red card at Lincoln so this will be the first of 3 games he misses. Brannagan has gone for a second scan on his hamstring injury and is rated doubtful. Anthony Forde, Marcus McGuane and James Henry are the most obvious alternatives in midfield.

Centre-back Jordan Thorniley missed the game at Lincoln with a late decision expected on his fitness for this weekend, Luke McNally will continue if he’s not ready. Dan Agyei is back in training after having covid, whilst John Mousinho and Jamie Hanson could travel as part of the squad.

What’s your score prediction?

No doubt it’s going to be a heavily competitive game. I think it will be another draw but this time with some goals. 2-2.

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