Preview: Burton Albion vs. Oxford United – prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Saturday’s League One clash between Burton Albion and Oxford United, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Two teams in need of the points in League One will lock horns for an intriguing contest on Saturday afternoon, with relegation-threatened Burton Albion hosting playoff-chasing Oxford United.

Burton are currently 20th in the table, just one point ahead of 21st-placed Port Vale, while Oxford occupy seventh position, level on points with sixth-placed Lincoln City.

Match preview

© Reuters

Burton’s winless run in the third tier of English football stretched to nine matches on Monday afternoon when they suffered a 3-1 home defeat to Barnsley, with the result leaving the strugglers in 20th spot in the table.

The Staffordshire outfit have not managed to triumph in League One since overcoming Leyton Orient in the middle of February, picking up just two points from their last nine games during a tough run of form.

Martin Paterson‘s side are only one point ahead of 21st-placed Port Vale, who have a game in hand, while they sit just two points clear of 22nd-placed Cheltenham Town, who have two matches spare, so Burton are in a very uncomfortable position heading into the final straight.

The Yellow and Blacks have the fifth-worst home record in League One this season, picking up only 22 points from 20 matches, and they will be welcoming an Oxford outfit that have nine away victories to their name this term.

Burton desperately need to start putting some wins on the board if they are to avoid relegation to League Two for the 2024-25 campaign, and three of their next four league games are at home.

Arsenal's Bukayo Saka in action with Oxford United's Marcus McGuane on January 9, 2023© Reuters

Oxford, meanwhile, will enter the match off the back of a 4-0 victory over Fleetwood Town, which moved them onto 67 points from 41 league games courtesy of a record of 19 wins, 10 draws and 12 defeats.

Des Buckingham‘s side are level on points with sixth-placed Lincoln in the battle for the playoffs, and they have picked up seven points from their last three league fixtures during a strong run of form.

The U’s have only lost one of their last five in League One, meanwhile, but that was a 5-0 reverse at Bolton Wanderers, and they have been beaten eight times on their travels in the league this term.

Oxford finished 19th in League One last season, so it has been a hugely successful campaign thus far, and a victory on Saturday would lead them nicely into three straight home fixtures with Peterborough United, Lincoln City and Stevenage.

The Yellows have actually won seven of their last eight meetings with Burton in all competitions, including a 3-0 success when the two teams locked horns for the reverse fixture in League One back in December.

Burton Albion League One form:

Oxford United League One form:

Team News

Burton lost Mason Bennett to an injury in the early stages of their clash with Barnsley on Monday, and his absence is likely to open the door for Bobby Kamwa to start this weekend.

Head coach Paterson is expected to resist the temptation to shuffle his pack despite the disappointment of the home defeat last time out, with Joe Hugill, who is on loan from Manchester United, expected to continue in the final third of the field.

Rekeem Harper came into the midfield against Barnsley, and he is set to keep his spot for this match, with Steve Seddon likely to be on the bench for the first whistle once again.

As for Oxford, head coach Buckingham could name an unchanged side from the clash against Fleetwood due to the impressiveness of the performance and indeed the result.

Mark Harris netted a brace to move onto 11 league goals for the campaign, and the 25-year-old all continue in the final third of the field on Saturday afternoon.

Kyle Edwards has been ruled out for the remainder of the campaign due to a hamstring issue, but there are no fresh fitness concerns for the visitors ahead of this weekend’s contest.

Burton Albion possible starting lineup:
Crocombe; Moon, Brayford, Hughes, Hamer; Powell, Harper, Gilligan; Kamwa, Hugill, Helm

Oxford United possible starting lineup:
Cumming; Long, Moore, Brown, J Bennett; Dale, Rodrigues, C Brannagan, Goodrham, Murphy; Harris

SM words green background

We say: Burton Albion 0-2 Oxford United

It is difficult to back Burton at the moment due to their struggles, but the same cannot be said for Oxford, who are pushing for a top-six spot. The visitors were excellent against a struggling Fleetwood last time out, and we are expecting them to put another three points on the board this weekend.

For data analysis of the most likely results, scorelines and more for this match please click here.

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