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Kick off 15:00 (UK)

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20 March 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 Blackpool

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

19 March 2021

Sponsored by

Oxford United look to make it back to back home wins this week when they welcome Blackpool to the Kassam Stadium on Saturday (3pm)

The U's were convincing winners on Tuesday night when three first half goals helped them to a 3-0 win over Doncaster Rovers which put them within touching distance of the play-offs.

TEAM NEWS
Sam Winnall returns to the squad after an ankle injury while the U's will wait on a covid test before deciding whether Anthony Forde can be included. Forde attended a family funeral and missed Tuesday night's game but procedures were agreed beforehand with the medical authorities and EFL and have been adhered to so provided he tests negative then he should be available.

There were no new injuries on Tuesday night while Sam Long and James Henry make good progress and are on target for a return for the Easter weekend fixtures.

Luke McNally has completed his 'mini pre-season' and is training with the squad but may need a game for the Under 21s before he is involved. Joe Grayson, a sub on Tuesday, will be hoping to feature against a club where dad Simon played and was twice Manager.

See Karl and Rob Atkinson previewing the game in iFollow now.

THE OPPOSITION
Neil Critchley’s Blackpool are eight games unbeaten and five points shy of the play-off places with four games in hand on sixth-placed Charlton Athletic.

Former U’s left-back Luke Garbutt is hoping they can close that gap with a fourth successive away win on Saturday, with that away form coinciding with a run of draws at home

“There’s a bit of frustration in the camp, especially with the draws at home recently. We wanted to be getting maximum points from those games and I think in a lot of them that’s what we deserved. It’s just that little bit of extra drive and determination to put the ball in the net which will help us to move up the table and achieve things this season.”

MATCH SPONSORS
Our thanks to Grant and Stone 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.

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Join us on the official YouTube channel for 'Matchday Live', available to help you get in to matchday mode from 2.15pm and this week we have a very special guest as JAMES CONSTABLE joins the pre-match panel.

Don't miss out- join Beano for Blackpool on the official YouTube channel

Blackpool Videos

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Match Reports

REPORT Oxford United 0 Blackpool 2

U's lose to Blackpool. Full time report

20 March 2021

Sponsored by

Two first half goals gave Blackpool all three points this afternoon at the Kassam Stadium. Strikes from Kenny Dougall and Danny Ballard, both from set pieces, halted the U's progress to leave both sides still in the chase for the play-off places.

Mark Sykes, the one change to the side that beat Doncaster in midweek, added energy on the right and was in the right spot to kick a goalbound header from Danny Ballard off the line after 15 minutes, but helpless a minute later when the away team’s early pressure paid off and Dougall tapped home from close range after the U’s failed to clear an inswinging corner, helped on by Sullay Kaikai.

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Not magic but in a roundabout way it should have helped United, who now needed to show a bit of character and ignore tired legs after their midweek exertions in beating Doncaster.

Brandon Barker provided the obvious threat, fizzing in two or three delicious crosses which just evaded everyone, but the goal hadn't sparked the reaction that a sluggish United would have liked.

Sykes slammed a rasping left-footer wide on 27 but United didn’t muster a shot on target in the first half and were 2-0 down at the break when Ballard rose to thump his header past Stevens from six yards out and double his side’s advantage after 42 minutes. Two goals from two set pieces but 45 minutes to recover the situation.

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Mide Shodipo and Anthony Forde were introduced as half time subs and that led to an improved display in the second half with far more chances but no goal to show for it. The former forced visiting keeper Chris Maxwell into his first save soon after and then Forde floated in a free kick which Rob Atkinson headed too close to the waiting Maxwell from close range.

It wasn't one-way traffic by any means; Elliot Embleton was inches wide with Stevens sprawling and the keeper also came to United's rescue on the hour with a brave block from the charging Kaikai, but at least United were giving it a proper go.

Elliott Moore guided a header onto the roof of the net and Sykes sliced horribly wide, but United's frustration was building by the minute and Sam Winnall and Dan Agyei were given 20 minutes to try and find a way back into the game. They nearly found it immediately, with Winnall forcing a save from Maxwell from an Agyei cross, and Agyei drawing Maxwell's best save of the match on 74 after Winnall had artfully nudged a defender out of his way.

Conceding two goals in the fashion they did will annoy the U's, but the win over Doncaster in midweek did not mean they won the league and this defeat does not mean the season is over. A long way to go still and two big games coming up: Northampton away on Tuesday then Lincoln at home, in front of the Sky cameras on Friday night.

Positive reaction required.

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

*’Rasping’© Sam Winnall

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