This Week's Opposition: Oxford United

Photo Credit: Oxford United

Pompey’s Play-Off hopes were dealt an even bigger blow at the weekend when they were held to a 3rd consecutive league stalemate - Shrewsbury Town the guilty party on the other end of a 1-1 scoreline. Next up, the Blues return to John Mousinho’s old stomping ground, Oxford United.

Saturday’s draw with The Shrews at New Meadow meant that the gap between Portsmouth and the top 6, with 4 matches remaining, was extended to 6 points.

Though mathematically possible, the chances are shrinking even faster now with each passing matchday.

Pompey will hope to at least return to winning ways in their final midweek fixture of the season at the Kassam Stadium - Let’s take a closer look into a severely underperforming Oxford United side.

MANAGER

Karl Robinson is no longer in charge of The U’s… He was sacked by the club back in February following a run of 8 games without a win.

His successor was announced a fortnight later - Reported Pompey target for the head coach role back in January, Liam Manning was unveiled at the Kassam Stadium on March the 11th.

The 37-year-old former Lommel SK and MK Dons boss has since taken charge of 5 matches, drawing 4 and losing 1, yet to taste victory in the dugout for his new side.

ONE TO WATCHKyle_Joseph_OUFC

Swansea City loanee Kyle Joseph is a player to keep an eye on this time around.

The 21-year-old Scotland youth international has registered 32 league appearances, scoring 7 goals.

The forward, who wears the number 22 shirt, spent last campaign on loan at Cheltenham Town.

TOP SCORER

26-year-old joint-captain Cameron Brannagan is currently Oxford’s top scorer.

The former Liverpool midfielder joined The U’s from the Merseyside outfit in January 2018 after a successful half-a-season loan spell at Fleetwood.

Brannagan has so far this season found the back of the net on 9 occasions, as well as bagging 1 goal in each of The FA Cup, Papa John’s Trophy and Carabao Cup.

CURRENT FORM

Oxford have had a severely underwhelming season compared to their usual standards of the last few years.

They currently sit 20th in League One on 40 points, outside of the relegation zone only on goal difference and level on games played with Cambridge United in 21st.

The U’s have not won in any of their previous 15 league outings, last securing maximum points in the league on the 21st of January, beating Ipswich by 2 goals to 1 at the Kassam.

So can the Blues reignite one final, very late push for the Play-Offs, or will their annual end of season capitulation have one last nail hammered into the coffin?

Join Robbie James, Jake Smith and Henry Deacon for all of the unmissable action, Tuesday (April 18th) evening from 7pm, right here on Pompey Live!

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