Pompey vs Oxford- the Blues’ biggest home test of the season so far.
Just 4 points separate the two sides, and two positions. Pompey are chasing the U’s with a game in hand, so a victory at the Fortress today can go a long way to boosting the Blue’s automatic promotion boost
The visit of United sees the the return of former Pompey boss Michael Appleton- one of the decent managers out of the crippled, crumble years that saw the Blues fall down the leagues.
But he returns with a very strong Oxford side, who are 7 points behind leaders Plymouth, are in the 4th round of the FA Cup, much lie Pompey and also in the JPT area-final.
The U’s are also strong away, with 7 wins on the road so far.
Yet, Pompey’s recent Fratton resurgence isn’t to be messed with- the Blues are unbeaten in 11 games, winning 6 and only conceding two in that time..
Vital Quotes: Stop Roofe
Ben Davies says the key to defeating Oxford is to stop winger Kemar Roofe.
The 23-year-old has been the stand out player in the league so far, scoring 18 goals from midfield.
Davies understands that the winger, of whom he’ll be up against today is the most trouble he’ll be facing this season.
Pompey Team News:
Pompey’s new loanee signing, 19-year-old keeper Ryan Fulton from Liverpool is expected to go straight into the line-up with Brian Murphy suspected to have a knock.
Danny Hollands remains out indefinitely after breaking his leg in the first Ipswich match.
Suspicions over the fitness of Michael Doyle means Ben Close could be in contention for a start, after Nigel Atangana joined Leyton Orient in midweek for an undisclosed fee.
Player to watch: Marc McNulty
The man of the moment for Pompey, who’s scored 8 goals in 11 matches in all competitions for the Blues is the man to watch.
His goal against Ipswich in the week was the decider of the tie and he’s showing sings of success even without partner Caolan Lavery who rejoined parent club SHeffield Wednesday.
Good news for Pompey fans is McNulty’s desire to remain on the South Coast as well.
Oxford United Team News:
Former Pompey forward Ryan Taylor is out after catching an ankle knock and is expected to be out for around 6 weeks.
Otherwise Oxford have a full squad.
Player to watch: Kemar Roofe
As seen above..
Match Facts & Stats
HEAD TO HEAD
Pompey: 22 Wins
Oxford: 18 Wins
At Fratton Park
Pompey: 15 Wins
Oxford: 3 Wins
The last meeting between the 2 sides saw the 35-yard screamer from Adam McGurk.
Time for Pompey to boost their promotion push- the Blues have faired well aganst the higher opposition, with victories against Northmpton, Plymouth and Bristol already.
I think we’ll win this 2-0 and surprise our promotion rivals and silence Mr. Roofe.
PLAY UP POMPEY!