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Kick off 15:00 (UK)

30 January 2021 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 Fleetwood Town

A full guide to Saturday's Sky Bet League 1 game at the Kassam Stadium

29 January 2021

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Oxford United welcome Fleetwood Town to the Kassam Stadium on Saturday (3pm)

The U's are still without Marcus McGuane who will be out of action for around a month after suffering a thigh strain in the win over Bristol Rovers last weekend.

Cameron Brannagan came into the side at Rochdale on Tuesday and is likely to continue before sitting out Tuesday night's Papa John's Trophy quarter final game at home to AFC Wimbledon. Jamie Hanson, a starter at Rochdale, vies with Liam Kelly for the other midfield place while James Henry and Mide Shodipo both scored after coming on as subs on Tuesday night and will be hoping to start this time around.

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

You can stream the game HERE

Interim Head Coach Simon Wiles has overseen clean sheets for the Cod Army in their last two games against Wigan Athletic and Northampton Town and is looking for his side to build from that on Saturday.

“We are just going about our business; we know how Oxford play and we need to make sure that we are difficult to beat and give ourselves the best platform to move forward and get the three points" he said. "That’s our mentality at the minute, we just need to make sure we start well, which we have been doing, but getting those early goals, and hopefully then will be the platform for us to go on a run and give us a chance to move up the table.

“As you have seen, if you can string two or three wins together, you give yourselves the best opportunity to move forward. You get in form, you build confidence, you get momentum, and all of a sudden, you can become the form team in the league.”

Our thanks to Buildbase, always good friends of the club and sponsoring the match with a special offer for supportersFind out all about them HERE

As well as live coverage on iFollow 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.

And look out for some special guests on the official You Tube channel for 'Matchday Live', available to help you get in to matchday mood from 2.15pm.

Fleetwood Videos

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Match Reports

REPORT Oxford United 1 Fleetwood Town 0

U's make it eight wins in a row as they beat Fleetwood for the very first time this afternoon

30 January 2021

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So now we know. If a team that has won seven games in a row takes on a side they have never beaten in 12 previous attempts then the game will end in a 1-0 home win and a perfect January with eight wins from eight games.

It was close though. Closer than it probably should have been. In the end, a Josh Ruffels goal was enough to secure all three points against a stubborn Fleetwood side reduced to ten men from very early in as Charlie Mulgrew was dismissed.

The game swung massively in United’s favour after just six minutes. Alex Gorrin sent the ball curling invitingly into the space between the back line and keeper, and Matty Taylor got in front of Mulgrew who clipped him. Ref Sam Barrott had little choice and United were facing ten men for almost the full game.

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Fleetwood regrouped and camped in their own half, inviting the U’s to break them down. Strangely, it was set pieces where the extra man looked to give United the greater advantage rather than open play. Elliott Moore went close with a header from one of a string of corners and on 27 it was another Henry set piece that paved the way for the opener. Moore met it at the back post, Ruffels popped up in front of the keeper and the U’s had a 1-0 lead: the first time they had ever been in front against the Cod Army.

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Fleetwood hung in there and defended solidly to ensure they were still in the game. United, urged to keep the ball moving quickly by boss Karl Robinson, got some joy out wide where Mide Shodipo and Sam Long fizzed a number of dangerous balls into the box, but when chances did come there was always a body flying in to block. Still, a goal and a man up at half time: surely 13th time lucky?

They needed a second to kill the game off and almost found it when Cameron Brannagan, who gets better with each game since his return, rattled the crossbar with a decent effort early in the second half, but the need for a second goal was clear when Jack Stevens, until then only required to find a way to stay warm in the biting cold, needed to be alert to save at his near post as a Fleetwood free kick almost got them back into the game.

A triple substitution should have paid off immediately but sub 1, Sam Winnall, saw his first touch bounce off the post and sub 2, Dan Agyei, couldn't poke the rebound into the net with either his first, second or third touches. Would the hoodoo make United rue those missed chances?

A magnificent Moore block denied Paddy Madden as the visitors sensed there was something for them after all. Thankfully not this time. No late 30 yarders, no late drama. Just a solid professional win, another clean sheet and another small step in the right direction.

Take that, Captain Pugwash.

Report by Chris Williams. Pictures Steve Daniels. Stats by OPTA

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