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Kick off 19:00 (UK)

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23 February 2021 Venue The Kassam Stadium Attendance

Kick off 19:00 (UK)

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English Football League - League One

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Match Previews

Match Preview: Oxford v Pompey

All you need to know about League One test

23 February 2021

Oxford United v Pompey

It is a fixture that Pompey fans have become pretty used to over the past decade.

And the latest chapter of meetings with Oxford is about to be written at the Kassam Stadium this evening (7pm kick-off).

There were four clashes last season – and that was even with Covid-19 cancelling a scheduled trip at the end of March.

And all of them finished level after 90 minutes, but it was United celebrating in the play-offs after Cameron McGeehan’s saved penalty proved costly in the shoot-out.

Karl Robinson’s side then suffered their own heartache at Wembley, with Wycombe beating them to secure the final spot in the Championship.

After a slow start to the current campaign, Oxford have stormed up the table in recent weeks and currently sit eighth – four points behind the Blues with a game in hand.

They have been beaten just once in League One in 2021 and won nine of their past 11 fixtures, although were held to a goalless draw at Ipswich last time out.

United were also denied a spot in this term’s Papa John’s Trophy final after losing their semi-final contest with Tranmere a week ago.

It finished 1-1 when the sides met at Fratton Park back in November, with an Alex Gorrin penalty cancelling out Sean Raggett’s opener.

TEAM NEWS
James Bolton is out with the ankle problem that saw him sidelined at the weekend, but Alex Bass (leg) and Michael Jacobs (hamstring) are both back in light training.

Sam Long could return from a hamstring injury for the hosts, although Oxford will be missing Marcus McGuane (thigh) and John Mousinho (knee).

VIEW FROM THE DRESSING ROOM
Read the thoughts of assistant manager Joe Gallen ahead of the game.

HEAD TO HEAD
Overall
Pompey: 25 wins
Oxford: 23 wins
21 draws

At Oxford
Pompey: 8 wins
Oxford: 19 wins
9 draws

OFFICIALS
Referee: Graham Salisbury
Assistants: Stephen Brown and Greg Read
Fourth Official: David Rock

MATCH COVERAGE
Supporters in the UK can watch the action live – with graphics, commentary and replays – by purchasing a match pass for £10.

Subscribers will, as usual, be able to listen to listen to live commentary from Andy Moon and Guy Whittingham by signing into their account and visiting the match centre from 6pm.

Please note that subscribers based in the UK and Ireland will still need to purchase a match pass in order to watch the game live.

Click here for more information about using iFollow on a matchday and click here for information on downloading the app, so you can access content on your mobile device.

We will have updates throughout the game on Twitter and the match centre. You can also see behind-the-scenes content on our Instagram story.

There will be post-match reaction on the website and our official YouTube channel, with highlights to follow on Wednesday.

Local listeners can hear commentary by tuning in to either Express FM or BBC Radio Solent.

Please note that current BBC guidelines mean commentators are not allowed to travel outside of their regions for games.

The BBC Radio Solent team will still be providing commentary from their studio, but there might be a slight delay between the pictures and the audio.

Supporters can use the settings cog to switch to local Oxford commentary if they prefer.

iFollowOxfordA.jpg

BETTING
Pompey are the 31/20 favourites with VBET to secure all three points, while the hosts can be backed at 9/5.

Click here to find a comprehensive list of odds for this evening's game. 18+. Please gamble responsibly.

ALSO IN LEAGUE ONE
Games kick-off at 7pm unless stated

AFC Wimbledon v Gillingham (6.30pm)
Blackpool v Doncaster
Bristol Rovers v Wigan
Charlton v Burton
Crewe v Accrington
Hull v Ipswich
Lincoln v Swindon
Northampton v Rochdale
Shrewsbury v MK Dons
Sunderland v Fleetwood
Plymouth v Peterborough (7.30pm)

LAST MEETING

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Match Reports

Oxford 0 Pompey 1

White goal ensures Blues get back on track

23 February 2021

Ronan Curtis celebrates with Harvey White after Pompey score at Oxford United
Photo: Jason Brown

Harvey White was on target as Pompey impressively returned to winning ways by beating in-form Oxford.

They looked in control for long periods at the Kassam Stadium and the only question was whether they could make a breakthrough.

But it arrived early in the second half, with White converting a Callum Johnson delivery for his first Blues goal.

And Craig MacGillivray was relatively untroubled until right at the end, with the keeper making three excellent stops to ensure the points would be heading back to the south coast.

There were three changes from the side that were beaten by Blackpool on home soil at the weekend.

White came in for his first start since arriving on loan from Tottenham in January, while there were returns for Lee Brown and Ellis Harrison.

Ryan Williams, Charlie Daniels and John Marquis were the men to make way, with the trio dropping to the bench.

Ronan Curtis, meanwhile, moved to a central attacking role alongside Harrison, as White took up position on the left.

The visitors started brightly and a long MacGillivray clearance caused problems before the ball eventually ricocheted into Harrison’s path.

But United keeper Jack Stevens was alert to the danger, tearing quickly off his line to make a vital stop.

There were not an abundance of opportunities at either end, though, with half-chances the order of the first period.

Sean Raggett and Johnson made important blocks in quick succession, while a fierce James Henry strike was beaten away by MacGillivray.

But it was Pompey looking more likely to break the deadlock as the interval approached, courtesy of some neat passing.

A stretching Curtis could not quite get enough on Johnson’s dangerous delivery to properly test Stevens.

Andy Cannon then saw an effort deflected wide following some impressive work from the lively White to win back possession.

Half Time: Oxford 0 Pompey 0

The second half was not even three minutes old when the Blues broke the deadlock, with WHITE opening his account for the club.

He raced between a couple of defenders to guide home a fine header after Johnson had delivered a first time cross from the right.

Oxford tried to hit back immediately, although Elliot Lee’s free-kick flew safely into the arms of MacGillivray.

Pompey were not content to sit on their lead, however, and Harrison had a shot blocked before Cannon’s volley was dealt with by Stevens.

The visitors made their first change just past the hour mark, as Williams replaces Marcus Harness wide on the right.

And the newcomer was involved in a neat passage of passing play soon after coming on, ending with him not quite able to sneak a shot inside Stevens’ post.

United went close to levelling on 74 minutes, with MacGillivray off his line to deny Olamide Shodipo, but unable to hold onto the ball.

Sam Winnall looked to capitalise, only for the quick-thinking Raggett to get there first and hack the ball to safety.

A second switch immediately followed, as Marquis came on for Curtis to offer the visitors some fresh legs up front.

He soon saw an angled effort kept out by Stevens, just moments after White had benefitted from good work by Williams and had a shot blocked.

Jordy Hiwula then replaced Harrison for the closing stages, as the Blues appeared to be seeing the contest out with relative ease.

But a late flurry of Oxford chances almost brought an equaliser, with MacGillivray coming to the rescue on each occasion.

He beat away a thunderous Anthony Forde shot, tore off his line to deny Shodipo and then tipped over an Elliott More header right at the death.

Oxford (4-1-4-1): Stevens; Long, Moore (c), Atkinson (Forde 84), Ruffels; Brannagan; Lee (Barker 65), Henry (Taylor 75), Sykes (Gorrin 65), Shodipo; Winnall
Booked: Brannagan
Subs not used: Eastwood, Grayson, Kelly

Pompey (4-4-2): MacGillivray; Johnson, Raggett, Nicolaisen, Brown; Harness (Williams 63), Naylor (c), Cannon, White; Harrison (Hiwula 86), Curtis (Marquis 75)
Goals: White 48
Booked: Curtis, Harness
Subs not used: Ward, Whatmough, Daniels, Byers

Referee: Graham Salisbury

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