MX23RW : Wednesday, June 23 05:35:53| >> :600:2789664:2789664:
Mar 26, 2021 at 7.45pm UK at The Kassam Stadium
Oxford UtdOxford United
LincolnLincoln City
Forde (29'), Taylor (57')
Stevens (43'), Hanson (45+4')
FT(HT: 1-1)
Scully (4')
Edun (56')

Preview: Oxford United vs. Lincoln City - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Friday's League One clash between Oxford United and Lincoln City, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Oxford United will be looking to bounce back from successive defeats when they continue their League One campaign at home to promotion-chasing Lincoln City on Friday night.

Karl Robinson's side will enter the contest off the back of a 1-0 loss at Northampton Town on Tuesday, while Lincoln shared the points with Sunderland at the Stadium of Light last weekend.

Match preview

Oxford United's manager Karl Robinson pictured with Cameron Brannagan on March 2, 2021© Reuters

Oxford, as mentioned, suffered a 1-0 defeat at Northampton on Tuesday evening, with Sam Hoskins's second-half strike proving to be the difference between the two sides in the East Midlands.

The U's have now lost three of their last four in the league but are still very much in the playoff picture, sitting 11th in the table, just three points behind sixth-placed Blackpool.

Both Blackpool and fifth-placed Doncaster Rovers have two games in hand over Oxford, though, and Robinson's side must return to winning ways as soon as possible if they are to stay in the hunt.

Oxford finished fourth in League One last season, ultimately losing to Wycombe Wanderers in the final of the playoffs, and they are again bidding to reach the Championship for the first time in their history.

The U's have will been pleased to be back on home soil on Friday, but Lincoln have the best away record in League One this term, picking up 35 points from their 17 matches.

Lincoln City's James Jones celebrates scoring against Bradford City in September 2020© Reuters

Lincoln, meanwhile, played out a 1-1 draw with Sunderland at the Stadium of Light on Saturday; Callum McFadzean sent the Black Cats into a 40th-minute lead, but Callum Morton struck just past the hour to ensure that the points would be shared in the top-four battle.

Michael Appleton's side remain fourth in the table, just four points behind second-placed Peterborough United on the same number of matches, meaning that an automatic promotion spot is still very much a target.

The Imps are also six points clear of seventh-placed Charlton Athletic, but as mentioned above, both Doncaster and Blackpool directly below them in fifth and sixth respectively have two games in hand.

Lincoln are actually winless in their last four in League One, suffering home defeats to Rochdale and Gillingham during the disappointing run, but they have been the best team in the league on their travels this term, suffering just two defeats from 17 matches, conceding only 12 goals in the process.

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

Lincoln City League One form:
  • L
  • W
  • D
  • L
  • L
  • D

Team News

Lincoln City players celebrate scoring against Bradford in the EFL Cup in September 2020© Reuters

Oxford were again without the services of James Henry, Elliot Lee and Sam Long for Tuesday's 1-0 defeat at Northampton, and Long will again definitely be absent here.

Henry and Lee could both return to the squad for this match, though, and the U's did not suffer any fresh injury problems last time out, meaning that Robinson has plenty of options.

The head coach is expected to make changes from Tuesday's defeat, with Liam Kelly, James Hanson and Mark Sykes in line for recalls, while Matt Taylor and Brandon Barker should be back in the final third.

As for Lincoln, Jorge Grant and Joe Walsh remain unavailable for selection through ankle and calf problems respectively, while leading scorer Tom Hopper could be out for the season with a hamstring issue.

Adam Jackson and Lewis Montsma had both been doubts for the Sunderland game after missing training last week, but the pair featured at the Stadium of Light and will also be in the XI here.

Head coach Appleton could ultimately decide to select the same side that started against the Black Cats, with Morton being joined in the final third of the field by Brennan Johnson, but Anthony Scully is also an option to feature in one of the two forward positions.

Oxford United possible starting lineup:
Stevens; Forde, Moore, Atkinson, Ruffels; Hanson, Brannagan, Kelly; Sykes, Taylor, Barker

Lincoln City possible starting lineup:
Palmer; Poole, Montsma, Jackson, Bramall; Edun, McGrandles, Bridcutt, Rogers; Johnson, Morton

SM words green background

We say: Oxford United 1-1 Lincoln City

Lincoln have only won one of their last eight in the league, while Oxford will also enter the match off the back of some disappointing results. Both managers will be desperate not to lose this match, meaning that it could be a cagey affair, and we can see a low-scoring draw at the Kassam Stadium.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at are predicting a double chance bet on a home win or draw in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Home/Draw:data

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