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Oxford United vs Reading: Match Preview 2023/24

It’s derby day! The Royals will be desperate to secure three points in the early kick-off...

Carlisle United v Oxford United - Sky Bet League 1 Photo by MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Today is a massive game for more than one reason.

It’s the Thames Valley Derby and that should inject some extra spice into the game, but the Royals also need to keep picking up points and a loss today would be a setback in their quest to survive.

Oxford United, who are competing at the other end of the division, also need three points in their quest to secure a top-six place at the end of the season.

What? League One Matchday 29

Season? 2023/24

Who? Oxford United

Where? Kassam Stadium

When? Saturday 3rd February

Time? 12:30pm

Opposition Manager? Des Buckingham

The Royals

It hasn’t been a disastrous window, but selling some of our brightest young players may affect our future. It’s a shame that Nelson Abbey, Caylan Vickers and Taylan Harris have all gone, although it could be argued that some of these players may have gone in the summer anyway.

And it’s great that we managed to keep some of our most important players.

A sale needs to happen as quickly as possible though - because we could be in League Two next season and interest from investors may die down if we are relegated before a sale is approved.

This next week or two could end up being crucial.

The Opponents

Oxford are in good shape, even if they have endured a fairly mixed time under Des Buckingham.

Tyler Goodrham is one to look out for and after struggling during the early stages of his time at the Kassam Stadium, Mark Harris has also done well in recent times.

They seem to be a team on the up at the moment, but they face a real battle in their quest to finish in the top six. The U’s have the potential to secure a play-off spot, but whether they do remains to be seen.

My Lineup

Starting XI: Button, Dorsett, Monlouis, Holmes, Yiadom, Craig, Wing, Mukairu, Knibbs, Azeez, Smith

David Button starts in goal again, but there’s one change to the back four with new signing Zane Monlouis coming in for Tyler Bindon.

It’s clear that the latter struggles with his pace at times - and I’m led to believe Monlouis is fairly quick. Mark Harris strikes me as more of a target man than someone who’s rapid and will hope for long balls over the top all of the time, but it would be fascinating to see how our new loanee gets on. He’s also left-footed, which is a bonus.

In front of Monlouis and Holmes, Michael Craig and Lewis Wing start, with Harvey Knibbs in front of them and Paul Mukairu and Femi Azeez on either side.

Score Prediction: Oxford United 2-2 Reading

Other League One Fixtures

Bolton Wanderers vs Barnsley

Burton Albion vs Lincoln City

Charlton Athletic vs Derby County

Cheltenham Town vs Wycombe Wanderers

Exeter City vs Bristol Rovers

Fleetwood Town vs Port Vale

Leyton Orient vs Carlisle United

Peterborough United vs Wigan Athletic

Portsmouth vs Northampton Town

Shrewsbury Town vs Cambridge United

Stevenage vs Blackpool

All games get underway at 3pm