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12 August 2017 Venue The Kassam Stadium Attendance

Kick off 15:00 (UK)

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	English Football League - League One

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Match Previews

PREVIEW Oxford United v Portsmouth

A full guide to Saturday's Skybet League 1 game at Grenoble Road

11 August 2017

Oxford United take on Portsmouth at Grenoble Road on Saturday. Here we have a full guide to the game.

TEAM NEWS

United  are waiting on international clearance on new signing Gino Van Kessel after the forward signed on a season-long loan from Slavia Prague yesterday. Van Kessel adds yet more international experience to the United squad that now boasts a Curacaon international as well as a Dutch right back, Brazilian left back, former Barcelona midfielder and a Swedish international as well as a Welsh international, an Irish under 19 defender and a Scot!

Defender Charlie Raglan (who grew up in Tenerife) is sidelined for the next three months with an ankle injury but Manager Pep Clotet can call on the services of Mike Williamson again at centre-half after he was rested for the Carabao Cup tie against Cheltenham.

Kane Hemmings could also be involved for the first time this season although both Wes Thomas and Jon Obika have scored this week when playing up front. Jack Payne, a sub on Tuesday night, is likely to come back into the starting eleven while Rob Hall and James Henry compete for one of the wide roles.

TICKET UPDATE

It's looking like a bumper crowd for the first home league game with the away area already sold out and United fans backing Pep Clotet's new look side in numbers.

Some areas of the ground are close to selling out so fans are advised to book as early as possible to avoid disappointment.

Because the away seats are all sold it's also worth reminding supporters that home tickets are only being sold to fans already on the OUFC database by July 9th. These are available from oufctickets.co.uk and 01865 337533 as well as in person.

Because checks will need to be made when people buy tickets on Saturday this is likely to be time consuming and we ask fans to arrive early or to book in advance - order online and print at home to avoid the queues.

Tickets are also available in the new shop in the Covered Market.

Fans are reminded that due to the segregation fence they will not be able to walk from end to end behind the North Stand.

 

DOUBLE HEADER

It's a double Pompey day on Saturday. Not only are the first team at home to them but the youth team are also playing Portsmouth at home on the same day. Fresh from an opening day win at Cheltenham, the under 18s welcome Portsmouth to Northcourt Road, the home of Abingdon United, with an 11am kick off. Entry is free: why not take in two games between the same two clubs on the same day?

 

See/hear it LIVE

Last Saturday saw the launch of the new iFollow match coverage, with overseas fans able to see the whole game live and UK subscribers able to hear it.

Subscribers have asked if we can keep the commentary going through half time and we have been told by the EFL that this is possible, although whether that can be put in place before Saturday is still unclear. 

Follow it LIVE

@OUFCOfficial will be tweeting throughout the game and the match centre on this site gives you full stats and text commentary throughout the match. The new look website means we can once again bring you the official match report right on the final whistle with images of the afternoon.

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Match Reports

REPORT Oxford United 3 Portsmouth 0

Full time report from Grenoble Road

12 August 2017

Oxford United made it maximum points from two league games with an excellent 3-0 win over Portsmouth this afternoon.

Second-half goals from Wes Thomas, sub Gino van Kessel and Josh Ruffels made it six points for the U’s after the first week, and no goals against so far in League 1.

Attacking the Liontrust fence end in the first half, the U’s gave a debut to Brazilian left back Ricardinho, allowing Marvin Johnson to move further forward after a dalliance with that position in the opening couple of games.

Both sides started at a high tempo even with the sun finally remembering it is still summer; there was plenty of closing down of defenders despite the heat, although it made for a congested midfield in the first 45 minutes with both sides looking to pick a through pass beyond two well-drilled defences. Kyle Bennett had the first meaningful effort after 14 minutes with a well-struck effort from the edge of the box that Simon Eastwood touched round the post.

United were neat on the ball and prepared to stay patient; one terrific move ended only when Drew Talbot blocked Thomas just as he homed in on a James Henry through ball and Christian Burgess had to head a Ribeiro cross over on 38 and then dive in to tackle Nelson when the ball was worked into the box again from the corner.

Pompey skipper Brad Pitman did get the ball into the net in the 42nd minute but only by shunting Williamson out of the way to reach the header, but it had been a cautious first 45 minutes that rarely threatened an opener.

The second half was a different story as United assumed control. One minute gone and Ribeiro, ever keen to roam from right back, burst into the penalty area and got to the line. His cross/shot was straight at keeper McGee who half parried/half fumbled as Thomas bundled the ball into the net at the near post for his second of the season to make it 1-0.

Ref Graham Salisbury had seen enough and was off soon after, handing his cards to fourth official Marc Wilson, presumed injured rather than stroppy, but the game continued as great speed, United working so hard to regain the ball and keeping a great shape when they had it.

Williamson and Nelson are a rock solid duo at the back: two games together and not a goal conceded, but United are also very dangerous if teams over commit against them; one swift flowing move on 65 was only stopped by a brave block as the excellent Payne let fly, while James Henry poked another shot just over two minutes later as Portsmouth started to tire.

The Yellows were in control after the goal, Johnson terrorising his man on the left and sub Jon Obika powering in a terrific effort that McGee was glad was straight above him and within reach to touch over. A second goal was on the cards and on 82 Van Kessel made the perfect start to his career with the club. Cutting inside on the left he stayed calm, picked his spot and hammered it past McGee to make it 2-0 and game over.

There was still time for Josh Ruffels to seal a fantastic performance with his own second of the season, strolling through from midfield and sidefooting past McGee to make it 3-0 and job done with a splendid goal.

A terrific goal and the perfect end to a professional, disciplined performance that augurs well for what is to come.


Att: 9,510
Away: 1,810

Fifty/50 winning number 541735 wins £1274.50

Report by Chris Williams, pics by Steve Daniels, stats by OPTA

 

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