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Paolo's Posh Preview: Oxford United

Can Peterborough United stretch their winning run to seven games when they travel to Oxford United this evening?
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It's the third meeting of Posh and Oxford United this season, after Peterborough won at the Weston Home Stadium and in the FA Cup tie (Photo: Terry Harris)

Darren Ferguson's men continued their excellent run of form at the weekend, despite Wigan Athletic taking the lead in the 72nd minute.

However, a brace from Jonson Clarke-Harris, first nodding home Harrison Burrow's cross and then calmly converting from the penalty spot, meant Posh completed the turnaround with two goals in three minutes.

Posh now sit comfortably at the top of League One, four points ahead of second-place Lincoln City, and have the opportunity to extend that gap this evening as they face Oxford United, kick-off at 7pm.

Team news and predicted line-up

As per previous match days, academy defender Ronnie Edwards will be unavailable due to a muscular problem. Other than Edwards, however, the Posh boss will have a full squad available for the trip to Kassam Stadium, with the expectation that he will stick with the same starting 11 that have won the previous five League One fixtures.

In his pre-match interview with the club, Ferguson was pleased to see Louis Reed and Fraser Blake-Tracey both have excellent games in a friendly victory over Ipswich Town on Friday and hopes they can continue to push for places.

He said: "I have said to the group this morning (Monday) that everybody will be needed. Louis Reed and Frazer Blake-Tracy were excellent in a game against Ipswich on Friday and that is what we need, people pushing for places. We are not looking any further forward than Tuesday night, there is a long way to go." 

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

Opposition view

Oxford United have seemingly turned their fortunes around since they visited the Weston Homes Stadium earlier in the season. Karl Robinson's men have climbed up the table to 9th, sitting just four points off the final play-off spot.

However, Oxford have failed to pick up a victory in their previous three League One fixtures, most recently drawing with MK Dons on Saturday after Elliot Lee scored a 90+7 minute equaliser to rescue a point.

Key player: Alejandro Gorrin

The Spanish midfielder has been at the heart of Oxford United's midfield, helping them turn into potential play-off contenders after a slow start to the 2020/21 season. According to WhoScored, the defensive midfielder makes 2.9 tackles per game and 2 interceptions per game – the highest in squad. Gorrin will be influential in helping Oxford United stop the Posh front-three this evening.

Previous meeting

Although these two sides met earlier in the season at the Weston Homes Stadium, where Posh took a 2-0 win, their most recent fixture was in the FA Cup first round back in November at Kassam Stadium.

Ferguson’s men opened the scoring in the 23rd minute when Siriki Dembele latched onto an error from Josh Ruffels to slot past the keeper.

The hosts drew back level on the stroke of half-time as Ruffel’s made amends by stabbing home an equaliser from Anthony Forde’s free-kick.

However, Jack Taylor fired Posh back in-front after he fired a low left-footed shot past Jack Stevens in the 62nd minute as Posh hanged onto three points on the road.

Past five meetings

Oxford United 1-2 Posh – Nov 2020 (FA Cup)
Posh 2-0 Oxford United – Oct 2020
Posh 4-0 Oxford United – Feb 2020
Oxford United 1-0 Posh – Aug 2019
Oxford United 1-0 Posh – Aug 2019

PeterboroughMatters prediction

Oxford United have certainly turned the tables since we last met them, becoming play-off contenders. They have a solid foundation at the back, which is covered by the Spanish midfielder Alejandro Gorrin, while Matt Taylor leads the line with 11 goals this season. 

However, Posh are in excellent form and at the moment, I just can't see them slipping up... but Oxford United will be one of their toughest tests to date.

Oxford 1-2 Posh