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Kick off 15:00 (UK)

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20 February 2021 Venue Portman Road Attendance

Kick off 15:00 (UK)

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English Football League - League One

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Match Previews

PREVIEW Ipswich Town v Oxford United

A full guide to Saturday's Sky Bet League 1 game at Portman Road

19 February 2021

Oxford United head for Ipswich on Saturday in Sky Bet League 1 (3pm)

TEAM NEWS
The U's missed out on a Wembley final when losing to Tranmere on Tuesday night but have been in excellent form in the league and are just one point and one place off the play-off positions.

They welcome back forward Elliot Lee after he missed the Luton game with a tight calf and the on-loan Luton man gives boss Karl Robinson another option up front.

Sam Winnall and Matty Taylor have been alternating the central striker position with Brandon Barker and Mide Shodipo doing the same on the left while Anthony Forde challenges Jamie Hanson for the right-back role.

Marcus McGuane, Sam Long and John Mousinho are all absent through injury.

Hear Karl's thoughts in iFollow right now where you can also hear from Alex Gorrin and see the whole game live.

You can stream the game HERE

THE OPPOSITION
Ipswich are without midfielder Flynn Downes who is suspended for the next two games due to a red card in Tuesday night’s stormy 0-0 draw with Northampton Town.

“I need players that are going to dig in” Manager Paul Lamber said after that game. “We’re in a real hard moment and you need players that are going to dig in. I need players at this football club that are going to die for it and that are going to ruin for it and that are going to work for it."

"People can say we're near the play-offs with games in hand, but right now it's not good to look at. We all know that we have to better on Saturday. We can't get away from the fact that things must be better.

"Oxford are doing well and it'll be a different game to tonight, but we certainly need to improve. The lads know it."

SEE IT LIVE
Match Passes are available right now in iFollow. Log on to see the game, complete with commentary from Nathan Cooper and Stevie Kinniburgh

We have all the build up on twitter and on our official Instagram page, complete with behind the scenes exclusive content, plus a full report and Gallery right here on the final whistle and reaction from all the key men in iFollow.

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Match Reports

REPORT Ipswich Town 0 Oxford United 0

U's pick up a point at Portman Road. Full time report

20 February 2021

Oxford United and Ipswich Town had to settle for a point apiece this afternoon as defences won the day in a 0-0 draw at Portman Road.

In a 90 minutes high on commitment and determination neither side could find a route to goal with chances very much at a premium throughout.

United, all in white, defended well but relied on Rob Atkinson to hook a soft header off the line from James Norwood in the early exchanges, the defender resisting the urge to charge the length of the pitch with the ball and happy to just hook clear as an Ipswich team showing plenty of changes to the one that drew against Northampton in the previous game applied decent early pressure.

Jack Stevens made a comfortable save from Keanan Bennetts before the U’s started to gain some of their usual rhythm, although the first 45 minutes never really got going for either side.

The excellent Cameron Brannagan fired a couple of shots at goal from distance without disturbing keeper Thomas Holy’s day of rest and Mark Sykes saw a 25-yard-drive deflected wide for a corner but the clearest chance of the first half belonged to the home side, when the lively Troy Parrott found space in a crowded area after half an hour but trilled his effort wide without making Stevens work.

The home side came at the U's after the break and a Norwood effort hit the post and Bennetts stabbed another decent chance wide, although those chances were balanced by a Taylor header from a Sykes cross that flicked the top of the bar and a drive from sub James Henry which also flew over the bar as we reached the hour mark.

Games between the sides have always been tight - just one goal in four games now since Ipswich dropped into League 1 - and as the game wore on it was increasingly a case of who would be brave enough to go for three points rather than settle for one.

United had plenty of possession, with Brannagan playing a quarterback role in front of the defence, ably assisted by Henry as they probed for weaknesses in a seemingly unbreakable thin blue line, but Ipswich had the greater urgency in the last few minutes and in the end a point each was probably fair enough, although sub Sam Winnall made Holy work with a good effort in the last minute that would have won the game for the U's.

A point on the road is always welcome, it's just that United's league form has been so good that a draw is a slight surprise these days.

Take a point, regroup and move on to Portsmouth on Tuesday.

Report by Chris ‘yes, “trilled” ’ Williams, pictures by Steve Edmunds, stats by OPTA

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