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Mar 1, 2022 at 7.45pm UK
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Preview: Portsmouth vs. Oxford United - prediction, team news, lineups

:Headline: Preview: Portsmouth vs. Oxford United - prediction, team news, lineups:
Sports Mole previews Tuesday's League One clash between Portsmouth and Oxford United, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
Sports Mole

Oxford United square off against Portsmouth at Fratton Park on Tuesday evening looking to strengthen their position in the League One playoffs.

While seven places and 14 points separate these two teams in the standings, Portsmouth will be back in contention for the top six with victory on the South Coast.

Match preview

Oxford head into their next game as outsiders to gain automatic promotion, a consequence of trailing Wigan Athletic by four points having played three matches more.

Nevertheless, Karl Robinson's team remain with the best attacking record in the division after a 4-2 victory over Cambridge United at the weekend extended their winning streak to three matches.

Oxford also had to come from behind twice to get over the line, Cameron Brannagan chipping with a double after Matty Taylor had netted his 17th strike of the campaign.

Having conceded 13 times in nine games, there will be those who will insist that Oxford's defence must improve, but Robinson will be wary of upsetting the balance of a team which remains as a clear threat to the top two.

Although their away record has been slightly indifferent, seven wins have come from 17 games, their last two successes at Charlton Athletic and Crewe Alexandra also coming with shutouts.

At a time when Oxford have strengthened their position in the playoffs, Portsmouth have put together a much-needed four-game unbeaten streak.

Ten points have been collected during that period, the only draw coming on Saturday as Danny Cowley's side remarkably came back from a three-goal deficit to earn a share of the spoils against Fleetwood Town.

With Fleetwood down in 19th position, it could be regarded as two points dropped, but two goals in the final 10 minutes means that the momentum is with Pompey.

While the South-Coast outfit currently sit 10 points adrift of the playoffs, their matches in hand makes things interesting, providing that they can keep ticking over with another strong result in front of their own supporters.

Portsmouth League One form:
  • L
  • L
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • D

Oxford United League One form:
  • W
  • L
  • L
  • W
  • W
  • W

Team News

Ronan Curtis will miss out for Portsmouth after collecting his 10th yellow card of the season at the weekend.

Aiden O'Brien and George Hirst are competing for a starting role, but it remains possible that they could both feature after impressing off the substitutes' bench versus Fleetwood.

Barring any injury issues, the remainder of the team could stay the same.

While Robinson could also stick with the 11 players which started against Cambridge United, Brannagan is one yellow card away from a two-match ban.

Marcus Browne is an alternative after his 14-minute cameo at the weekend, although Brannagan is more likely to retain his spot in the team.

Portsmouth possible starting lineup:
Bazunu; Carter, Raggett, Robertson; Harness, Tunnicliffe, Morrell, Hume; Hackett-Fairchild; Hirst, Walker

Oxford United possible starting lineup:
Stevens; Williams, McNally, Long, Seddon; Sykes, Kane, Brannagan; Whyte; Baldock, Taylor

We say: Portsmouth 1-1 Oxford United

Aside from the runaway leaders Rotherham United, these two clubs are the form sides in the divisions, and it should make for an entertaining spectacle. All things considered, Pompey need three points, but we feel that Oxford will do enough to earn a share of the spoils.

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3MK Dons36209759362369
4Oxford UnitedOxford Utd371981071472465
5Wycombe WanderersWycombe361710961471461
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8Plymouth ArgylePlymouth34178956391759
9Ipswich TownIpswich3615111055391656
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12Accrington StanleyAccrington35137154457-1346
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14Cheltenham TownCheltenham351014114856-844
15Burton Albion37128174556-1144
16Charlton AthleticCharlton35117174147-640
17Shrewsbury TownShrewsbury36912153135-439
18Lincoln CityLincoln34108164047-738
19Fleetwood TownFleetwood34712154760-1333
20AFC Wimbledon35615143954-1533
23Doncaster RoversDoncaster3785242872-4429
24Crewe AlexandraCrewe3567222963-3425
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20Norwich CityNorwich2745181658-4217
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