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Match Previews

MATCH PREVIEW: OXFORD UNITED V WIGAN ATHLETIC

22 December 2017

Latics pay their first visit to the Kassam Stadium in Sky Bet League One.

  • Match Preview: Oxford United v Wigan Athletic.
  • All of the key information ahead of Latics’ first visit to Oxford in 17 years.
  • Pay on the day available, no prices increase.

OXFORD UNITED V WIGAN ATHLETIC
SKY BET LEAGUE ONE
SATURDAY 23 DECEMBER 2017
KICK OFF 3.00pm

PRE-MATCH BUILD UP

Latics head to the Kassam Stadium for the first time on Saturday when they take on Oxford United in Sky Bet League One, facing the U’s for the first time since October 2000.

Hosts Oxford will be looking to on their recent good fortunes of two draws and a victory, with a place in the top six still a realistic goal ahead of the New Year, as they sit four points behind sixth place Charlton Athletic.

Pep Clotet’s side return home off the back of a 0-0 draw on the road at Rochdale, whilst Latics will be looking to make it five straight wins in Sky Bet League One following on from last weekend’s 4-0 demolition of AFC Wimbledon.

Speaking to oufc.co.uk ahead of Saturday’s game, the Oxford boss says he’s well aware of Latics’ threats, but insists his side are just as capable.

“If our focus and our trust in our football is there then we know we have been good against good footballing sides. We just have to be one hundred percent for the full 90 minutes. We have always competed very well against the top teams. It’s a difficult game against a Wigan side who won their last four but at the same time we trust ourselves and know we will be very motivated.”

Pep Clotet gives instructions to his Oxford United players
Pep Clotet instructs his Oxford United players.

TEAM NEWS

Ryan Colclough’s return to training provides a timely boost to Paul Cook’s squad ahead of the busy festive fixture period, whilst Craig Morgan and Shaun MacDonald continue to make good progress in their recoveries from long term injury.  Jamie Jones will remain side-lined for the trip to Oxfordshire due to his recent shoulder complaint.

For the hosts, Agon Mehmeti could return to the bench after a hamstring injury.  Curtis Nelson, Rob Hall and Ivo Pekalski remain side-lined, with Charlie Raglan, Sam Long and Gino van Kessel closing in on returns.

Ryan Colclough
Ryan Colclough available for selection following illness.

FORM GUIDE - LAST FIVE IN LEAGUE ONE

Oxford United and Wigan Athletic Sky Bet League One Form Guide

Oxford – WLDWD, 8 points
Latics - LWWWW, 12 points

HOME AND AWAY

Oxford at home – 4 wins, 4 draws, 3 defeats, 21 scored, 15 conceded - WDWDLWDDLLW

Latics on the road – 7 wins, 1 draw, 2 defeats, 21 scored, 8 conceded – WWLWLWDWWW

LEADING GOAL SCORERS IN LEAGUE ONE

OXFORD – Wes Thomas 8, Josh Ruffles 5, Jack Payne and Joe Rothwell 3

LATICS – Nick Powell 9, Michael Jacobs 7, Will Grigg and Ivan Toney 4

POSITION

Latics – 1st
Oxford – 9th

Latics lead Sky Bet League One on 48 points, but the chasing pack are keeping up with the pace as Shrewsbury Town sit four points behind in second and Blackburn Rovers occupy third place, five points off the top.  The pair continue to win games at the same rate as Latics over recent weeks, making for an exciting festive period for neutrals.

Oxford are also chasing a place in the Sky Bet Championship come the end of the season, and their potent attack has helped them to ninth in the table so far, just four behind Charlton in the final play-off place.  Clotet’s U’s will have to fight their way past Peterborough United and Portsmouth first, who occupy eighth and ninth respectively.

HEAD-TO-HEAD RECORD

League: Latics 4 wins, Oxford 3 wins, 1 draw – scored 9, conceded 8
Latics’ away record: 2 wins, 1 draw, 1 defeat

Saturday will be just the ninth meeting between the two sides, with Latics edging Oxford in the head-to-head thanks to a run of four straight victories in our last four clashes.

We have to go back to 2000 for the start of that sequence, with Latics completing the double of the U’s two seasons in a row.

Our last meeting came in April 2001, when goals from Simon Haworth, Lee Ashcroft and Lee McCulloch helped Paul Jewell’s side to a 3-2 home victory despite a Paul Dalglish red card. Joey Beauchamp and Andy Scott hit the target for Oxford.

On the road our last clash was in October 2000, another win for Latics that saw Scott Green and Andy Liddell on target to secure all three points at the Manor Ground.


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