Oxford United will be looking to avoid a third successive league defeat this Saturday as they travel to Bristol Rovers. The U’s started the season brightly, but defeats at Blackpool and at home to Burton Albion have seen their positive start come to a halt.
Oxford United Aiming to Avoid Third Successive Defeat
Tough Opposition for the U’s
Despite a poor start to the season for Bristol Rovers, they will fancy themselves when Oxford come to town. The Gas have been a bit of a bogey team for the U’s in recent seasons, losing just twice from their last eleven meetings, winning seven.
But those two Oxford wins came at the Memorial Stadium, with Kemar Roofe netting the winner in 2014 and Alex Mowatt scoring a late winner in 2017 with both games ending 1-0 to the visitors.
Both sides have had contrasting starts to the season. The U’s picked up a point at Sunderland before beating Peterborough United, but back to back defeats have halted their form. While the Gas lost two of their opening three games 2-0, the other a goalless draw at Coventry City, they recorded their first win of the season at home to Tranmere Rovers on Tuesday night.
Both sides have also progressed to the second round of the Carabao Cup.
The talking point for this game, which is always a fiery affair, will be the fact Matty Taylor will be returning to the Memorial Stadium for the first time since he left Rovers for rivals Bristol City in 2017. The 29-year-old striker has joined Oxford on a season-long loan, and he will be in search of his first goal since returning to the club he began his career with.
Tariqe Fosu looks likely to return for the Oxford while Ben Woodburn, who was called up to the Wales squad in the week, will be looking to impress. Defensively, Oxford have looked solid this season but shipped four goals in the defeat to Burton Albion.
Tyler Smith has scored three in four games, while Jonson Clarke-Harris has netted two in four. The Gas also have a steady midfield, with former Oxford favourite Liam Sercombe among them.