League One UK

League One Play Off Preview: Oxford United v Blackpool

Blackpool travel to the Kassam Stadium this evening to play the first leg of their play-off tie against Oxford, with 4,000 people set to be inside the ground for the game.

Team News

Oxford will have Brandon Barker fully fit after he was left on the bench against Burton. Sam Long is a doubt for the game after he was taken off against Burton Albion with a hamstring problem. John Mousinho and Marcus McGuane are both long term absentees and will miss the game.

Blackpool saw Gary Madine return against Bristol Rovers, and he will be available for the game.

Head-to-Head

The last five games between the sides have seen two wins apiece and one draw. Although, this season the teams played out a goalless draw in December, with Blackpool winning 2-0 at the Kassam Stadium in March.

Form

Both sides head into the game in exceptional form with both winning four of their last five games. Oxford have scored fourteen goals in their last five games, while Blackpool have been solid at the other end of the pitch with no goals conceded in their last four games.

The Manager’s Views

Karl Robinson is looking forward to seeing the Oxford fans back in the ground. Robinson told iFollow “the biggest excitement is that there will be fans back in the ground to watch us play. There are pictures all around the training ground and stadium of players celebrating with fans and they are a massive part of this football club, a real driver of this team’s success”.

Neil Critchley was also looking forward to seeing fans back and remarked about the drama of the play-offs. Critchley told the Blackpool FC website “These games are full of emotion and drama. The psychological aspect of these games is different to your normal league game, but we’re ready, excited and looking forward to it”.

Final Thoughts

Though Oxford have found goals easy to come by as late, this game will likely be tight and cagey, with both sides not wanting to take too many risks and to make sure they are in the game come the second leg.

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