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

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

Two sides with opposing objectives come together on Friday afternoon as potential relegation candidates Shrewsbury Town take on playoff hopefuls Oxford United at the Montgomery Waters Meadow.

The hosts are in 17th, but just eight points above the relegation zone ahead of this game, while the visitors are currently occupying the final playoff position with a single-point lead over seventh place.

Match preview

© Reuters

Shrewsbury have had a difficult time in League One this season, reaching a high of 12th place in early December before an awful run of 11 losses in 18 matches saw the hosts fall down the table and into 17th ahead of this encounter.

While they do hold a decent eight-point gap between themselves and the relegation zone, multiple teams below them have games in hand that could see the gap close significantly and make for a much more tense end to the season.

The worst run of form for Shrewsbury came between the 16th December and 20th January when they won just one of eight games across the league and FA Cup, resulting in the sacking of Matt Taylor after just 35 matches in charge of the club.

That spell brought them dangerously close to the relegation zone, and while new boss Paul Hurst has been able to improve results, with four wins and two draws from 11 games, they have been unable to pull away from the bottom four ever since.

The biggest problem for Shrewsbury this season has undoubtedly been their struggles to convert their shots into goals, scoring a league-low 29 in 39, and this will have to improve if they are to stop themselves from falling any closer to the dreaded drop zone.

As for Oxford United, they have enjoyed a massive improvement in comparison to their 19th-place finish last campaign, instead finding themselves in a battle to finish in the top six and qualify for a spot in the League One playoffs.

Despite starting the season in excellent fashion, sitting top of the table in matchday 13, a long spell of inconsistent results has seen them fall away from the top two and now into a battle to stay within the playoff positions.

Their worst run has come in recent weeks, where they have taken just three wins from their last 13 league games, but Des Buckingham‘s side will hope that two of those coming in their last three may mark the end of that poor run.

This game provides Oxford United with a massive opportunity to move away from the chasing pack with all of the four teams directly below them facing a side within the top 10, while Buckingham’s men face a struggling Shrewsbury.

The visitors have enjoyed their outings at the Montgomery Waters Meadow in recent seasons, not losing there since a 3-2 defeat back in 2018 and winning four of the five encounters since that beating.

Shrewsbury Town League One form:

Oxford United League One form:

Team News

Shrewsbury will remain without Jordan Shipley after he received a straight red card after just six minutes in their 3-0 home loss to Exeter City over two weeks ago.

Midfielder Carl Winchester will also be a doubt heading into this game after he was replaced by Jack Price due to injury in the 73rd minute of their 1-0 victory over Carlisle United in their previous outing.

Daniel Udoh is expected to lead the line once again after he scored the winning goal in that game against Carlisle, extending his tally to seven in the league this season.

As for Oxford United, they were given a boost in their last outing against Port Vale as Sam Long returned to the starting lineup after suffering an injury against Leyton Orient in late February.

Although failing to feature, Tyler Goodrham also returned to the substitutes bench for the 2-0 win over Port Vale after also getting an injury in the 2-1 loss to Leyton Orient.

Shrewsbury Town possible starting lineup:
Marosi; Feeney, Dunkley, Flanagan, Benning; Price, Perry; Bloxham, Bayliss, O’Brien; Udoh

Oxford United possible starting lineup:
Cumming; Long, Moore, Brown, Bennett; Brannagan, Bodin; Dale, Rodrigues, Murphy; Goodwin

SM words green background

We say: Shrewsbury Town 1-3 Oxford United

Oxford United have enjoyed this fixture in recent seasons, taking victories from four of their last five trips to Shrewsbury and scoring three goals in three of these victories.

While the visitors have scored a lot this season, they are also prone to conceding their fair share of goals, and we expect the hosts to get on the scoresheet in this one.

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

ID:539835:1false2false3false:QQ:: from db desktop :LenBod:collect9298:

Previews by email

Click here to get Sports Mole‘s daily email of previews and predictions for every major game!

Latest news
Related news