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Kick off 19:00 (UK)

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23 February 2021 Venue The Kassam Stadium Attendance

Kick off 19:00 (UK)

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English Football League - League One

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Match Previews

PREVIEW Oxford United v Portsmouth

Full guide as the U's welcome Pompey to the Kassam Stad

23 February 2021

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Oxford United welcome Portsmouth to the Kassam Stadium tonight (7pm)

TEAM NEWS
"My first game in charge was away at Fratton Park and we have come a long way since that day" Karl Robinson told iFollow. "We are still growing and still improving but we  have total respect for Portsmouth and have had some really close games against them since then"

"There has only been the one goal between us, if anything, over the last few years and we know they have a great chance of finishing in or around the play-offs again.

"We just need to be a bit more clinical than we were at Ipswich but we are playing well and on a good run so we feel we are in a good place. Marcus McGuane and John Mousinho are still out with injuries but otherwise we have real competition for places and everyone is raring to go.

See Karl Robinson and Josh Ruffels previewing the game in iFollow now.

THE OPPOSITION
Portsmouth will be without centre-half James Bolton who picked up an ankle injury before Saturday’s home defeat to Blackpool but Assistant Boss Joe Gallen, who has stepped up while Manager Kenny Jackett recovers from an operation, knows that his side face a tough test:

"Like most teams who lose the play-off final Oxford started slowly but they've been on a very good run of form in the previous couple of months where they've won a numerous amount of games and put themselves back into a really good position. I expect Oxford to be around the top six, as always in this division.

"They had a disappointing result in the Papa John's Trophy recently - I thought they would win that - but they're a good side, have got an experienced manager, a very good squad and they've recovered well from a poor start.

"It'll be a tough game for us."

MATCH SPONSORS
Our thanks to Aasvogel who are sponsoring the matchFind out all about them HERE

COVERAGE
The game is live in iFollow as usual and Match Passes are available HERE

We have all the build up on twitter and on our official Insta 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.

Join us on the  official You Tube channel for 'Matchday Live', available to help you get in to matchday mood from 6.15pm.

Portsmouth Videos

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Match Reports

REPORT Oxford United 0 Portsmouth 1

U's lose out. Full time report

23 February 2021

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A header from Harvey White was enough to give Portsmouth all three points on a frustrating evening for Oxford United at the Kassam Stadium.

White's header right at the start of the second half decided another close encounter between two sides chasing the play-off places in a 90 minutes where a healthy mutual respect meant that one goal was always likely to settle things.

Recent meetings have been close affairs with relatively few chances, but tonight’s started with presentable opportunities for James Henry and Mide Shodipo at one end and two for Ellis Harrison at the other before we had reached the 15 minute mark.

It took a good save from Pompey keeper Craig MacGillivray to keep a Henry drive out soon after, and a big deflection to take an Andy Cannon blast wide on 26, but there were some some tough tackles as it settled into a proper, physical, encounter between two evenly matched sides.

Sam Long’s return meant a familiar look to the back line and there was a simmering edge to the game with yellow cards for Cameron Brannagan and Marcus Harness when they squared up to each other just before the break, but little to choose between the teams at that stage.

What the game needed was a goal and three minutes into the second half it came, sadly, for the visitors. Callum Johnson created it with a good cross into the box and White angled his header neatly into the net, arcing the ball beyond the helpless Jack Stevens.

goal.jpg

Surprisingly, the goal didn't truly open up the game. Portsmouth now had control of the action and United were finding clear chances increasingly hard to come by against a very well-drilled side. Alex Gorrin, Brandon Barker and Matty Taylor were asked to find a way through, but other than a half chance for Shodipo nothing really opened up.

Stevens fielded a couple of hopeful efforts from the edge of the box but, like his opposite number, wasn't extended too much. When a clear chance did come, Long - Man of the Match on his return - headed a near-post corner wide and United had just not quite fired on all cylinders.

A long way to go still, and one clinical moment enough to split them: had an Anthony Forde strike in injury time gone in rather than been saved, or Shodipo's last gasp stab been an inch wider of the keeper, or Moore's' header not been tipped over with the last touch of the game, then United had their point.

A second defeat in 14 games shouldn't lead to anyone panicking, but United's winning streak has just faltered and now they need a positive reaction when they travel to MK Dons on Saturday.

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

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