Mark Bonner’s men make the 180-mile round trip to Oxford on Saturday looking to make it three wins on the bounce…
Despite continued injury problems forcing Mark Bonner into making three changes from the side that beat Accrington on Saturday, the U’s made light work of promotion chasing Plymouth at the Abbey on Tuesday night.
Sam Smith scored his 15th goal of the season after lifting Liam Bennett’s through ball over Cooper and into the net after just seven minutes, before Jack Lankester’s first United goal since arriving from Ipswich Town in the summer sparked controversy following Conor Grant’s tumble in the lead up to the goal two minutes before the interval.
Cambridge United form: LLDWW
Tuesday’s win over the Pilgrims saw the U’s further increase the gap between themselves and the bottom four, as Mark Bonner’s men edge closer to securing another season in England’s third tier.
Oxford, looking to better last season’s play-off finish, welcome the U’s on Saturday having successfully navigated their way through away trips to Charlton and Crewe, ending the week in fourth and as the division’s top scorers – having scored 61 goals in 34 outings this campaign.
Oxford United form: WLLWW
Left back Ciaron Brown took just four appearances to fully announce hismself at the Kassam Stadium, having arrived from Cardiff City on deadline day, after scoring the decisive goal in the U’s 1-0 win over Crewe Alexandra on Tuesday night.
Prior to Tuesday’s, Karl Robinson’s men hit Charlton for four at the Valley, with Matt Taylor (x2), Sam Baldock and Cameron Brannagan all on target as United boosted their play-off hopes.
Down Memory Lane
For the third time this season, the U’s and Oxford will lock horns, having met in this season’s domestic season curtain-raiser at the Abbey, before clashing in the group stages of the Papa John’s Trophy.
United wins: 8 Draws: 9 Oxford wins: 10
Joe Ironside was on hand to earn Mark Bonner’s side their first point back in the third tier for almost two decades when the striker fired home from the spot to cancel out Steve Seddon’s opener 12 minutes before time on the opening day in August.
More recently, Smith’s brace, coupled with goals from Harvey Knibbs and 16-year-old Kai Yearn set the U’s up in good stead in their eventual qualification from Group H (Southern), when the U’s saw off Oxford at the Abbey, winning 4-1 on the opening night of the Papa John’s Trophy.
Fans may remember United’s 5-1 rout of Oxford in 2014, with Kwesi Appiah, Ryan Donaldson, Tom Elliott and Robbie Simpson all on target in a memorable win for Richard Money’s side.
First team coach Barry Corr ahead of Saturday’s clash with Oxford:
“They’re a great side, I think Oxford away is one of the most challenging games of the season. We’re excited to see how we can get on going there.
“It’s a big challenge because they’re such a good side, and they’ve been a really good side for a few seasons now so we’re looking forward to the challenge.
“The dimensions of their pitch is bigger an others, and Karl Robinson’s sides always tend to stretch the pitch as wide as they possibly can.”
Charles Breakspear has been appointed as referee for Saturday afternoon’s Sky Bet League One clash between The U’s and Oxford United at the Kassam Stadium.
He will be assisted by Louis Marks and Ryan Whitaker. The fourth official will be Joe Clark.
How to watch
Kick-off at the Kassam Stadium is at 3:00pm on Saturday 26th February, with tickets only now available for fans to buy on the day in Oxford. Tickets are priced at the following:
Under 18’s: £14
Under 14’s: £10
Under 7’s: £6
International U’s will be able stream the action live with an iFollow Match Pass. Match Passes cost £10 and are available to purchase by clicking here. Domestic supporters who can't make it to the Kassam can listen to live match commentary on iFollow.
The best way to stream the match is by doing so via the EFL iFollow App but please note, the App is only for streaming and supporters can't purchase their Match Passes through the application.