Oxford United v Portsmouth: team news, predicted XIs, referee, form guide and key stats

Pompey travel to Oxford United tonight desperate to turn their form around.

Tuesday, 23rd February 2021, 12:00 pm
Pompey head to Oxford United tonight in League One

Two consecutive defeats, and four losses in seven outings, have cut them adrift from the automatic promotion places, leaving many fans to believe that a play-off spot is the best Kenny Jackett’s side can hope for this term.

They’ll need to turn things around, though, to achieve that, with many clubs currently in the mix.

The U’s are one of them – and we don’t need reminding of the damage they can inflict when so much is on the line.

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Karl Robinson’s side could only draw against Ipswich on Saturday.

However, they’ve won nine of their past 11 league games and will be reluctant to allow the Blues breathing space in the race for a top-six finish.

Here’s all you need to know ahead of tonight’s game...

Oxford team news

The U’s will welcome back key defender Sam Long for the visit of Pompey.

The right-back has missed Oxford's past three games after suffering a hamstring injury during the recent 2-0 at Bristol Rovers.

However, the damage is not as bad as initially feared, with the 26-year-old expect to return to Karl Robinson’s starting XI.

Marcus McGuane is also on the comeback trail following a thigh injury.

However, tonight’s game could come too soon for the midfielder.

Fellow midfielder John Mousinho (knee) remains out.

Predicted starting XI

Jack Stevens, Sam Long, Elliott Moore, Robert Atkinson, Josh Ruffles, Alex Gorrin, Cameron Brannagan, Mark Sykes, Matty Taylor, Olamide Shodipo, Brandon Barker. Subs: Simon Eastwood, Anthony Forde, Jamie Hanson, Liam Kelly, Sam Winnall, James Henry, Elliot Lee.

Pompey team news

Pompey are expected to reshuffle their pack after Saturday’s 1-0 home defeat at the hands of Blackpool.

Back-to-back losses means manager Kenny Jackett will look to freshen up his side as he looks to kick-start his side’s promotion push again.

Michael Jacobs (hamstring), James Bolton (ankle), Paul Downing (hamstring) and Alex Bass (fractured leg) remain on the sidelines.

However, changes will still be made for the trip to the Kassam Stadium.

Jack Whatmough, George Byers, Lee Brown, Ellis Harrison and Harvey White could all come into contention as the Blues struggle for form.

Predicted line-up

Craig MacGillivray, Callum Johnson, Jack Whatmough, Rasmus Nicolaisen, Charlie Daniels, Tom Naylor, George Byers, Marcus Harness, Ronan Curtis, Ellis Harrison, Ryan Williams. Subs: Lewis Morgan, Sean Raggett, Lee Brown, Harvey White, Andy Cannon, Jordy Hiwula, John Marquis.

Match-day odds (bet365)

Oxford: 31/20

1-0 15/2, 2-0 11/1, 2-1 9/1, 3-0 25/1, 3-1 20/1, 3-2 28/1

Pompey: 17/10

1-0 15/2, 2-0 12/1, 2-1 9/1, 3-0 25/1, 3-1 20/1, 3-2 28/1

Draw: 5/2

0-0 9/1, 1-1 11/2, 2-2 14/1, 3-3 50/1

First goalscorer: John Marquis and Matty Taylor (both 9/2), Sam Winnall (6/1)

Referee

Graham Salisbury

Oxford stats

League position: 8th

Top scorer: Matty Taylor (11)

Top assists: Marcus McGuane (4)

Most appearances: Sam Long and Elliott Moore (both 33)

Pompey stats

League position: 5th

Top scorer: John Marquis (14)

Top assists: Ronan Curtis, Marcus Harness and Ryan Williams (all with 8)

Most appearances: John Marquis (35)

Form guide

Oxford: P37 W17 D9 L11

Past five games

D 0-0 Ipswich (A) – League One

L 2-0 Tranmere (H) – Papa John’s Trophy

W 2-1 Wigan (H) – League One

W 2-0 Bristol Rovers (A) – League One

L 3-2 Doncaster Rovers (A) – League One

Pompey: P38 W20 D6 L12

Past five games

L 1-0 Blackpool (H) – League One

L 3-1 Bristol Rovers (A) – League One

W 2-0 Swindon (H) – League One

D 2-2 Plymouth (H) – League One

W 3-1 Charlton (A) – League One

Other fixtures (7pm kick offs unless stated)

AFC Wimbledon v Gillingham (6.30pm), Blackpool v Doncaster Rovers, Bristol Rovers v Wigan Athletic, Charlton Athletic v Burton Albion, Crewe Alexandra v Accrington Stanley, Hull City v Ipswich Town, Lincoln City v Swindon Town, Northampton Town v Rochdale, Plymouth Argyle v Peterborough United (7.30pm), Shrewsbury Town v MK Dons, Sunderland v Fleetwood Town.