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Kick off 15:00 (UK)

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23 December 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 Wigan Athletic

A full guide to Saturday's big game

22 December 2017

Oxford United welcome top of the table Wigan Athletic to Grenoble Road on Satur

TEAM NEWS

United have no new injury worries and could welcome Agon Mehmeti back into the squad after a hamstring problem. With fellow striker Gino van Kessel making his return from injury last weekend United are starting to get players back just as they go in to the busy Christmas period, with only long term absentees Curtis Nelson, Rob Hall and Ivo Pekalski not involved in training this week.

See Pep Clotet's thoughts on squad rotation over the festive period in an exclusive interview in iFollow.

THE OPPOSITION

Wigan have striker Ryan Colclough available again after illness forced him to miss the trip to AFC Wimbledon last week. Manager Paul Cook has no new injury concerns although goalkeeper Jamie Jones (shoulder), defender Craig Morgan (hip) and midfielder Shaun MacDonald (broken leg) remain on the sidelines.

One man looking forward more than most to the game will be defender Chey Dunkley who makes his first return since leaving the U's in the summer.

TICKETS

Tickets are on sale online at www.oufctickets.co.uk and from the ticket office in person and by phone (01865 337533). They are also on sale for this match from the club shop in the centre of Oxford. The shop is part of the Market Barbers in the Covered Market; easily accessible from the High Street entrance. It is open Monday to Friday from 10am to 5pm and Saturdays, 10am to 4pm.

CLUB SHOP

The Club Shop is fully stocked for those last minute Christmas presents and will be open until 7pm after the game. Call in to take a look or visit oufcshop.co.uk.

THE PROGRAMME

The award winning matchday programme features the thoughts of Darryl Eales, Pep Clotet and Curtis Nelson plus a great interview with Xemi Fernadez who talks us through Christmas in Catalonia and reveals why Saturday is a big day for him. We also go On the Road, we chat to Guest of Honour Peter Foley and we have news and views from all areas of the club and remember, you can always read the programme on your phone, tablet or laptop. Each issue is available at matchdayfix.com/oufc/

FOLLOW IT LIVE

iFollow has the whole game live- hear it if you are in the UK, see it if abroad. You can sign up game by game or for the whole season, and we have full 90 minute reruns of every game.

@OUFCOfficial will be tweeting throughout the game and the match centre on this site gives you full stats and text commentary throughout the match. 

 HALF TIME

The JT's Golden Ticket half time draw offers a first prize of up to £750. Second prize is a £100 voucher for the Oxford United club shop, while third prize is a VIP package at JT’s Cocktail Bar.

The draw will take place at half-time and prizes can be collected from the matchday reception immediately after the game or by calling 01865 337528

Look out too for the Racehut Challenge at half time.

GETTING HERE

The new car parking rules are in place once again on Saturday:

  • East Stand car park - this will open to supporters at midday
  • A car park steward will count vehicles in and the car park will be closed when it is full.
  • Another car park steward will direct drivers to a bay to ensure spaces are filled up systematically; drivers are no longer allowed to park outside of the marked bays.
  • A tweet will go out from @OUFCOfficial to update supporters when the car park is full to allow them to make alternative arrangements.

Additional parking is available on Grenoble Road and in Sandford-on Thames.

FAMILY ROOM

The Family Room is open to young fans from all stands. There are games and activities for all ages plus visits from first team players. Join the fun in the corner of the East and North stands from 1.30pm

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Match Reports

REPORT Oxford United 0 Wigan Athletic 7

United well beaten by the league leaders. Full-time Report

23 December 2017

Oxford United were brushed aside by table-topping Wigan Athletic this afternoon as a Will Grigg hat trick and goals from Nick Powell, Gavin Massey and two from Max Power earned the visitors a record win at Grenoble Road.

As you might expect from a side topping the table, Wigan were high on confidence and showed no Christmas spirit towards their hosts with a totally ruthless, highly impressive display.

Both Powell and Michael Jacobs had already had efforts before Grigg gave them a 10th-minute lead. Xemi Fernandez was robbed in midfield to allow Powell to find space on the left edge of the box, with two men to choose from inside him. He opted for Grigg who placed his effort neatly past the stranded Simon Eastwood to make it 1-0.

On 17 minutes it was 2-0 from the simplest goal you can get. Corner from the right by Evans, Powell in acres of space and a powerful downwards header to give Eastwood no chance. With the Yellows totally penned back it took a good save from Eastwood to palm away a Grigg header after 24 minutes, the returning Chey Dunkley powering a header wide from the resulting corner, and then on 28 minutes it was 3-0. Jacobs created chaos with a dribble at the heart of the defence, the ball travelled to the right for Massey and his low drive flew unerringly into the bottom left corner to end the game as a contest before it had reached the half-hour mark.

It might have been even worse had an Evans effort on 39 minutes not flown to safety off the face of the crossbar, but United had been poor. Worth reporting though on one nice moment just before the break when Wigan were awarded an erroneous free kick but boss Paul Cook ordered them to roll it out of play to right the injustice. Maybe Christmas spirit does still exist.

Something needed to change and the introduction of Jon Obika and Joe Rothwell at least gave United brief impetus at the start of the second half, but six minutes in and that was extinguished by the seemingly permanently aflame Will Grigg, who held off his man and then smashed the ball into the roof of the net to make it 4-0.

Two minutes later and the hat-trick was complete. Appropriately set up by Byrne, Grigg confirmed that he is indeed on fire when he tapped home from five yards after bundling Mike Williamson aside.

The sixth was another simple finish from sub Power, rifling home powerfully after yet more good play by the excellent Byrne, the first time United have conceded six goals this century and ensuring their heaviest defeat since a 7-1 loss against Birmingham 19 years ago. That scoreline was beaten on 76 when Power let fly from 20 yards and Eastwood was beaten once more.

Credit to Wigan: the best side seen this season by a long way and racking up their own record win into the bargain. From a United viewpoint, basically anything that could go wrong did.

Att: 7,987
Away: 630

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

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