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Kick off 19:00 (UK)

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26 January 2021 Venue Crown Oil Arena Attendance

Kick off 19:00 (UK)

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English Football League - League One

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Match Previews

PREVIEW Rochdale v Oxford United

A full guide to tonight's game in Sky Bet League 1

26 January 2021

Oxford United head for Rochdale this evening in Sky Bet League 1 (7pm)

TEAM NEWS
The U's are without Marcus McGuane who is waiting for the results of a scan on a thigh injury picked up in the win against Bristol Rovers on Saturday. Although the midfielder misses tonight's game the injury is not thought to be as serious as first feared and scans will reveal the full extent of the damage.

Cameron Brannagan replaced McGuane for 80 minutes on Saturday and boss Karl Robinson must weigh up whether the former Liverpool midfielder can cope with two games so close together after a lengthy spell out. Anthony Forde, Mark Sykes and Jamie Hanson offer further options.

Hear Karl's thoughts in iFollow right now where you can also hear from Liam Kelly and Jack Stevens and see the whole game live.

You can stream the game HERE

THE OPPOSITION

Manager Brian Barry-Murphy has added Gabriel Osho to his squad on loan from Luton Town and he made his debut in the 2-2 draw against Gillingham on Saturday.

“I’ve known Gabriel since he was very young at Reading" he said. “His qualities are there for all to see. It gives everybody in the squad a lift. We always try to bring in a recruit who’s going to have that sense of excitement for the players. Hopefully over the next nine or ten days we can add a few more of those guys who will give us a real lift and make us stronger in all departments.”

That draw made it four out of five draws for Dale in the league but there have been plenty of goals: A 1-0 defeat at Doncaster interrupted a run that saw a 3-3 draw with Crewe, a 4-4 draw at Charlton, another 3-3 with Wigan and then the 2-2 at Priestfield.

MET BEFORE
The U's have played 13 times at Rochdale, winning three times, losing five and drawing five incuding a 0-0 draw on their last visit last season. The U's haven't lost in eight meetings against Dale, home and away, while a win tonight would mean seven wins in a row in all competitions for the first time since 1994.

COVERAGE
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.

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Match Reports

REPORT Rochdale 3 Oxford United 4

Shodipo goal makes it seven wins in a row. Full-time report

26 January 2021

Oxford United's streak is now seven games after an amazing Mide Shodipo winner at Rochdale this evening. Twice ahead, once behind, goals from Dan Agyei, Elliott Moore and James Henry were cancelled out by goals from Matty Done, Stephen Humphrys and Matty Lund before Shodipo scored an incredible winner deep into injury time to give United seven wins in a row for the first time since 1994.

United made changes to the side and that nearly paid off immediately when two of the new faces almost gave them an early advantage. Agyei, returning to the side, was denied in just the second minute when a brave header from Jordan Obita left him one on one with a defender. Having checked inside him Agyei’s effort was destined for the bottom right corner but home keeper Gavin Bazunu somehow got down to push it round the post.

Cameron Brannagan, another stepping into the starting eleven, thumped a free kick wide soon after and United were in complete control even before Agyei gave them the lead. A Matty Taylor effort was smuggled wide for a corner but when Dale dallied the ball was only cleared as far as Agyei who beat his man and then swivelled to power the ball home inside the right-hand post.

260121 rochdale (12).jpg

At that point it looked as though United were going to dominate, but Rochdale weren’t phased to be behind and were about to demonstrate once again that they are a team committed to attacking football.

Ollie Rathbone sent a dangerous drive just wide on 17 minutes, Alex Gorrin needed to make a perfectly timed tackle to stop another dangerous attack and and Kwadwo Baah was a constant threat from the right, always prepared to take men on and utilising an excellent playing surface despite constant drizzle.

On 22 they were level from a neatly worked opening. Lund flicked on, Stephen Dooley drew men towards him then slipped the ball to his left for Done to thrash the ball across the helpless Jack Stevens and level things at 1-1.

On 29 it was 2-1 and United’s early advantage was gone. It looked like a routine corner from Rochdale’s left but Humphrys turned it into something quite special by backheeling on the volley at the near post to wrong-foot Stevens and give the home side the lead.

United had one half chance from Agyei before the break plus a Matty Taylor drive into the side netting and a ‘goal’ disallowed for Taylor tackling the keeper, but within four minutes of the restart were on level terms again. Henry, on as a half-time sub, made an instant impact with a superb free kick to the back post. Moore, timing his run well, met it with a downwards header and it was 2-2.2 260121 rochdale 2nd (1).jpg

Henry's impact was huge and on 62 he put his side ahead with the best strike of the lot, powering the ball almost through Bazuno from the edge of the box to make it 3-2. Surely United would hold on to their lead this time?

Two minutes later, bobbling ball in the box and 3-3 as Lund bundled home from close range....

The absent Dale fans are missing plenty of goals. A 1-0 defeat at Doncaster interrupted a run that saw a 3-3 draw with Crewe, a 4-4 draw at Charlton, another 3-3 with Wigan and then a 2-2 at Gillingham. Fifteen goals for in six games, 16 against!

That nearly rose to 17 when sub Sam Winnall flashed a difficult twisting chance over the bar with his first touch, but neither side was settling for a draw just yet; the retreating Brannagan somehow intercepted the ball as five Dale players came at him in a line and Moore made a magnificent tackle when Rathbone seemed destined to settle things as he bore down on Stevens on 77.

A terrific game of attacking football between two talented and creative sides. Dale might  have snatched it when Aaron Morley attempted to beat Stevens from half way in injury time, but seconds later Shodipo showed him how to do it, lofting the ball high and over the stranded keeper from 30 yards to win an amazing game.

2 260121 rochdale 2nd (17).jpg

Seven in a row. Sounds good again.

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

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