Preview: Oxford United vs. Cheltenham Town – prediction, team news, lineups

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

Oxford United and Cheltenham Town will both be looking to end their four-game winless runs when they go head-to-head at the Kassam Stadium on Saturday.

The U’s are currently sitting in seventh place in the League One table, while the visitors are languishing in 21st position.

Match preview

Oxford’s bid to secure a playoff place has been dented by a poor run of form which has seen them win just one of their last nine matches.

Since picking up a 4-2 win over Wigan Athletic on February 13, the U’s have gone on to pick up just two points from their next four games.

They followed back-to-back draws with consecutive 2-1 defeats, including in last Saturday’s away meeting with leaders Portsmouth.

Cameron Brannagan scored a sixth-minute penalty to cancel out Callum Lang‘s early opener, but a second-half effort from Christian Saydee left Oxford with nothing to show for their efforts.

With three points separating them from sixth-placed Stevenage, Oxford will be desperate to return to claim maximum points this weekend, especially as they have won just one of their previous seven home league matches.

Like their hosts, Cheltenham are currently experiencing a poor run of form after taking just two points from their last four matches since losing to Port Vale in the middle of February.

Darrell Clarke‘s side looked set to collect a point from Tuesday’s home meeting with Charlton Athletic after Liam Sercombe had cancelled out Daniel Kanu‘s opener, but two late goals from Tyreeq Bakinson and Alfie May ultimately condemned Cheltenham to a 3-1 defeat.

Having picked up 34 points from 35 matches, the Robins are now four points adrift from safety and in need of an upturn in fortunes if they are to extend their stay in the third tier into a fourth consecutive season.

After failing to score more than one goal in any of their last nine away league matches, Cheltenham will need to offer an improvement in the final third if they are to trouble the U’s on Saturday.

The Robins can take confidence from the fact that they grabbed a couple of goals in the reverse fixture to record a 2-0 home victory.

Oxford United League One form:

Cheltenham Town League One form:

Team News

Oxford winger Tyler Goodrham remains sidelined with a calf injury which kept him out of the recent defeat to Portsmouth.

Defenders Fin Stevens and Elliott Moore are both set to retain their places after returning from injury to play the duration of last Saturday’s clash with the league leaders.

In fact, Des Buckingham is likely to select an unchanged starting lineup, with Marcus McGuane and Owen Dale also poised to keep their spots in the side.

As for the visitors, Rob Street remains out with a long-term knee injury, while Lewis Freestone is a doubt after missing the last two matches.

Wing-back Will Ferry is also a fitness concern after he was forced off in the first half of the midweek loss to Charlton.

Sercombe will continue to provide a goal threat from midfield after he scored his eighth goal of the season on Tuesday evening.

Oxford United possible starting lineup:
Cumming; Stevens, Moore, Brown, Leigh; McGuane, Brannagan; Dale, Rodrigues, Murphy; Harris

Cheltenham Town possible starting lineup:
Southwood; Bradbury, Davies, Smith; Long, Pett, Bonds, Kinsella; Sercombe; Taylor, Lloyd

We say: Oxford United 2-2 Cheltenham Town

Oxford will view Saturday’s contest as a chance to return to winning ways against the relegation-threatened Robins, but after drawing three of their last five home matches, we think that they will be held to a point by a Cheltenham side that has seen two of their previous four games finish all square.

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

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