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

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

Aiming to maintain their standing in the top six of the league table, Oxford United will welcome Peterborough United to the Kassam Stadium on Saturday afternoon in League One.

The U’s are coming into this weekend’s clash following back-to-back victories, whilst Posh are still basking in the glory of their EFL Trophy triumph over Wycombe Wanderers.

Match preview

© Reuters

Since the start of April, Oxford have begun to hit their deadly stride in the race for a League One playoff spot, with the U’s recording back-to-back 4-0 wins over relegation-threatened duo Fleetwood Town and Burton Albion during the past fortnight, strengthening their promotion bid.

After failing to find the net in his previous nine appearances, former Cardiff City man Mark Harris has bagged a brace in each of the last two matches, with the 25-year-old now up to 13 third-tier goals this campaign and close to breaking his individual target for the term.

The collection of 10 points from their most-recent quartet of league contests has allowed Des Buckingham‘s side to move up to sixth in the League One standings, two points ahead of seventh-placed Lincoln City, who will make the relatively-short trip to the Kassam Stadium next Tuesday.

The U’s face three straight home matches versus promotion rivals ahead of a final-day meeting with Exeter City in Devon on April 27, with those of a Oxford persuasion aware that their side must continue their sensational form of recent weeks in order to earn a place in the post-season picture.

Buckingham will be looking for a major improvement from his men’s showing at Peterborough earlier in the campaign, when strikes from Hector Kyprianou, Ricky-Jade Jones and Ryan De Havilland sealed a three-goal success for Posh during the reverse fixture.

After lifting their second-ever EFL Trophy following a last-gasp victory over Wycombe at Wembley last weekend, it was swiftly back to the stresses of a League One promotion race for Peterborough on Wednesday night, however Posh were well up for the task, beating lowly-ranked Port Vale 3-0.

The hosts had to wait until added-on time in the first period to take the lead via Joel Randall, although the collection of maximum points was arguably the easiest of the term for Darren Ferguson‘s side, who made sure of their win courtesy of Harrison Burrows and an own goal from Alex Iacovitti.

Following the heartbreaking nature of defeat in last season’s playoffs to now-Championship strugglers Sheffield Wednesday, Peterborough are still in the hunt to secure automatic promotion back to the second tier at the second attempt, with Saturday’s visitors six points behind second-placed Derby County, who have crucially played two games more.

With Jonson Clarke-Harris falling down the pecking order at Posh this season amid constant rumours concerning his future at the club, Ephron Mason-Clark has carried more of the attacking burden so far, with the 24-year-old netting 14 goals in 39 League One appearances to date.

Posh have been impressive on the road in recent months, winning three straight matches in the third tier away from Weston Homes Stadium, including a 2-1 success at Leyton Orient on Easter Monday, when first-half strikes from Cypriot Kyprianou and leading marksman Mason-Clark sealed maximum points.

Oxford United League One form:

Peterborough United League One form:

Peterborough United form (all competitions):

Team News

Peterborough United manager Darren Ferguson reacts on April 7, 2024© Reuters

Oxford are sweating over the fitness of influential midfielder Cameron Brannagan, who was forced off after just 34 minutes at Burton due to an ankle issue.

If the 27-year-old is sentenced to a watching brief versus Peterborough, it is likely that former Chelsea youngster Josh McEachran will be tasked with shielding the U’s backline.

Speaking of Oxford’s defence, centre-back Elliott Moore hobbled off in the closing stages at the Pirelli Stadium last weekend, and it remains to be seen whether he will be available to feature this weekend.

Peterborough are set to name an unchanged side from the one that was barely tested by Port Vale in the week, meaning that Premier League-linked Ronnie Edwards will partner Josh Knight in the heart of the visitors’ backline.

Jadel Katongo and Wembley hero Burrows will retain their spots at full-back, tasked with providing ample service for Jones at the tip of the Posh attack.

Clarke-Harris was an unused substitute versus the Brewers and could face a similar fate at Oxford, with fellow forwards Malik Mothersille and David Ajiboye set to receive minutes off the bench.

Oxford United possible starting lineup:
Cumming; Long, Moore, Brown, Leigh; McEachran, Dale, Rodrigues, Goodrham, Murphy; Harris

Peterborough United possible starting lineup:
Steer; Katongo, Knight, Edwards, Burrows; Kyprianou, Collins, Poku, Randall, Mason-Clark; Jones

SM words green background

We say: Oxford United 1-1 Peterborough United

With both sides heading into this clash following handsome victories, we are expecting a hard-fought battle between Oxford and Peterborough as they attempt to keep their promotion aims on track.

Posh were able to cruise to the win over Port Vale during the week, meaning that Ferguson’s troops should have enough left in the tank to collect a point at the Kassam on Saturday.

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

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