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Paolo's Posh Preview - Oxford Utd

Peterborough United welcome last season’s play-off finalists Oxford United to the Weston Homes Stadium on Saturday, kick-off 3pm.
Posh return against Oxford United,

Posh picked up their first points on the road this season after beating local rivals, Northampton Town, 2-0 last weekend after goals from Nathan Thompson and Reece Brown, but this weekend will herald the start of a hectic few weeks. Darren Ferguson’s side is set to play six games over the next three weeks, with no mid-week rest scheduled until late November.

So, ahead of the mammoth fixture list in October/November, Posh will be looking to start the strongest way possible this Saturday by claiming three points ahead of a trip to Wigan on Tuesday.

How do we expect Posh to line-up against Oxford United?

After securing the bragging rights in the Nene derby last weekend, Ferguson is expected to keep a similar starting eleven that won 2-0 last weekend, with one or two players returning from international duty. 

Jack Taylor, who was part of Ireland’s U21 squad and started in their 2-0 loss to Italy on Tuesday, is likely to return to the heart of Posh’s midfield. Taylor’s partner is going to give Ferguson a headache heading into the fixture this Saturday after Reece Brown was excellent against the Cobblers, scoring the second goal, whilst Louis Reed has shown consistency since being reinstated back into the squad. 

17-year-old Flynn Clarke will also return to Posh this weekend after also being called up-to Scotland’s U19 squad which saw their fixture against England abandoned at half-time after a positive COVID-19 test. The Scottish youngster could replace the injured Ricky Jade-Jones on the bench, who will have surgery on his ankle, keeping him out till the New Year. 

Team News

Teenage striker, Jade-Jones, is unavailable for selection on Saturday as he continues to recover from an operation. Taylor has returned to Posh after his international spell but was tested as part of EFL protocols, he will be involved on Saturday if he returns a negative test result.

Predicted line-up; Pym; Ward, Thompson, Beevers, Kent, Butler; Brown, Taylor, Szmodics; Clarke-Harris and Dembele

Opposition View

Oxford United was last season’s surprise package in League One, as Karl Robinson managed to climb his side to 4th based on points-per-game and if the season wasn’t suspended early, then automatic was a real possibility. Yet, United reached the play-off finals in the last campaign, falling short to Wycombe Wanderers at Wembley to miss out on promotion to the Championship.

Well, this season has been the complete opposite, sitting in 21st place, Oxford United have only won once in the league – an away victory at Accrington Stanley – but losing four of their five fixtures so far. Despite their slow start, Oxford has enough quality on the pitch to punish any sides that take them for granted. 

To give us a little preview to what we should expect from Robinson’s side, we spoke to Oxford United fan Brooks on how United play and which player we should keep an eye on.

“Regarding how Oxford will set up, that is actually quite a hard question to answer, at this point. We have had a difficult start to the season, in terms of key players being out injured. Due to that, we haven't been able to field what I believe to be our strongest 11. In terms of our play, I think we will be direct if we can turn the ball over in midfield. Gorrin is a key part, in our ability to do so. If James Henry and Cameron Brannagan are on form and are able to create space, I think we will create a lot of chances.”

Key Player: Dan Agyei

“I think Dan Agyei will be a key player for us. He is quick, strong and can beat a man with ease. He has started the season really well and looks really dangerous on the left-wing.”

Past Meetings

With 38 games faced against the two sides, it is Oxford United who comes out on top in games won since 1966, winning 19, as Posh are behind by seven currently with 12 victories, and will look to close the gap with a victory this weekend. 

However, Ferguson’s men will be full of confidence after thrashing Oxford United 4-0 at Weston Homes Stadium last season. It was a dominant display from Posh after going 2-0 up through Dembele and Ivan Toney, Posh was reduced to 10-men. That didn’t stop them, as Posh grabbed another two goals, with Toney scoring his second and Josh Knight rounding off the victory. 

Past five meetings

Posh 4-0 Oxford United – 08 Feb, 2020
Oxford United 1-0 Posh – 13 Aug, 2019 (League Cup)
Oxford United 1-0 Posh – 10 Aug, 2019
Oxford United 0-1 Posh – 16 Feb, 2019
Posh 2-2 Oxford United – 08 Dec, 2018

Peterborough Matters Prediction 

Posh are starting to find their feet this season after a slow start and will be hoping to increase their unbeaten run at home. 

Ferguson’s men will be favourites heading into Saturday based on Oxford United’s run of form, but Robinson’s side shouldn’t be taken lightly after they did reach play-off finals last season and can hurt anyone on their day. 

Posh 1-0 Oxford United
Oxford United supporter Brooks  - Posh 1-2 Oxford