Can Oxford United boost their Sky Bet League One promotion hopes this weekend with the visit of Ipswich Town?
Our featured game comes from the high-flying U’s, who welcome the Tractor Boys to the South East.
📅 Match details
Kick-off on Saturday 19 March at the Kassam Stadium, home of the U’s, is 15:00, with Ipswich making the trip West for the weekend.
Referee Marc Edwards will be joined by assistant officials Steven Plane and Dean Treleaven, and fourth official Grant Taylor.
👔 At the helm
U’s head coach Karl Robinson arrived at the Kassam Stadium in March 2018, joining Oxford from Charlton Athletic and, despite joining the Club mid-way through the season, saw them to a 12th-placed finish as the former Milton Keynes Dons boss geared up for his first full season in charge.
Since then, Robinson has suffered Play-Off heartbreak twice with Oxford, beaten in the 2019/20 Final by Wycombe Wanderers before being ousted in the Semi-Final by Blackpool last season, but the 41-year-old will be hoping to go one better this term.
Ipswich boss Kieran McKenna stepped into the breach in December last year, replacing the outgoing Paul Cook who left his post earlier in the month.
The Northern Irishman arrived in East Anglia with an impressive CV, having spent the last five years in the coaching set-up at Manchester United. McKenna, who started off in the Academy ranks, made the step up to the first-team at Old Trafford in the summer of 2018 before opting to try his hand in the EFL.
🔑 Key man
Oxford midfield maestro Cameron Brannagan might be best known for his success rate from the spot, but the 25-year-old has impressed in all aspects of his game this season for the U’s.
The number eight, who made the switch from Anfield, notched his first career hat-trick in a 7-2 victory over Gillingham in January, slotting away his spot-kicks to take home the matchball, becoming the first player to ripple the net from 12 yards four times in one game in the League’s history.
Similarly, Ipswich frontman Macauley Bonne, on loan from Queens Park Rangers, has proved that be can be trusted to provide the firepower for the Tractor Boys, with 12 League goals to his name and counting.
The 26-year-old was loaned out to his hometown Club for the duration of the 2021/22 season by the Hoops, and Town fans were pleased to see Bonne remain a Tractor Boys player following the conclusion of the January transfer window.
📈 Form guide
Fourth-placed Oxford United are now three points clear of seventh-placed Sheffield Wednesday and looking up the table, five points behind MK Dons sitting in third, after making it back-to-back wins over Burton Albion and Shrewsbury Town.
The U’s have registered four wins in their last six despite slipping to defeat against Portsmouth at the beginning of March, including some big victories over Charlton Athletic, Cambridge United and Burton.
Ipswich also come into this clash on a run of good form. Unbeaten in their last nine, the Tractor Boys now occupy ninth place, six points off the Play-Off places.
|The last five|
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