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Jul 6, 2020 at 5pm UK at The Kassam Stadium
Oxford UtdOxford United
Harrison (45+3' og.)
Long (58'), Browne (73'), Dickie (91'), Rodriguez (103'), Taylor (107')
Harness (38')
Marquis (64'), McGeehan (90+4')
Oxford Utd win 5-4 on penalties

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

Sports Mole previews the second leg of the League One playoff semi-final between Oxford United and Portsmouth, including team news and predicted lineups.

Oxford United and Portsmouth head into the second leg of the League One playoff semi-final with the tie locked at 1-1 on aggregate.

Marcus Browne cancelled out an earlier effort from Ronan Curtis to earn United a share of the spoils ahead of the reverse fixture at the Kassam Stadium.

Match preview

Portsmouth players celebrate scoring against Oxford United in the League One playoff semi-final on July 3, 2020© Reuters

After a 115-day break, Portsmouth and Oxford marked the return of League One with a competitive draw on Friday night, one which keeps both teams in the hunt for a place at Wembley Stadium.

Having taken the lead and generally performed the better of the two teams, Portsmouth boss Kenny Jackett will be slightly disappointed not to be heading into Monday's clash holding an advantage.

Nevertheless, holding Oxford to a draw meant that the five-match winning of their opponents had been brought to a halt, highlighting that little can be taken from the form produced back in March.

Even with Portsmouth having now failed to win in their last three matches, they will feel that they have the edge going into the away fixture having produced the more accomplished display of the two sides.

Oxford manager Karl Robinson was not shy in praising Pompey in his post-match interviews, acknowledging that their opponents could have been awarded at least one penalty.

Browne's excellently-taken effort just before half time may, to a certain degree, be regarded as a bonus by Robinson, and it extended the playmaker's run of successive goal contributions to four matches.

The former West Ham United trainee has made a big impact since his loan move from Middlesbrough in January, and Robinson will hope that the 22-year-old can work effectively with Ben Woodburn.

After a long layoff, the Liverpool loanee got his first 55 minutes under his belt since October on Friday evening, and the winger could be better for that outing in the second leg.

Oxford United League One form: WWWWWD

Portsmouth League One form: LWWLDD

Team News

Portsmouth boss Kenny Jackett pictured on January 28, 2020© Reuters

With their teams having played their first game in four months, Jackett and Robinson will have to weigh up whether fresh legs are better than using the same set of players for the second time in three days.

Jackett only made three substitutions on Friday evening, which is arguably an indication that he has faith in the fitness of his players.

Having come off the bench during the final quarter, John Marquis may get the nod over Ellis Harrison in attack.

From Oxford's perspective, Woodburn may be held back until the second half, potentially leading to Mark Sykes coming into the starting lineup.

Anthony Forde is also an option on the flank after starting many of the fixtures before lockdown.

Oxford United possible starting lineup:
Eastwood; Long, Dickie, Moore, Ruffels; Sykes, Rodriguez, Brannagan; Henry, Taylor, Browne

Portsmouth possible starting lineup:
Bass; McCrorie, Burgess, Raggett, Brown; McGeehan, Morris; Harness, Cannon, Curtis; Marquis

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We say: Oxford United 2-1 Portsmouth

While both teams will remain confident about earning a place at Wembley Stadium, Oxford's extra quality in attack - an opinion formed on having scored eight more goals over the regular season - may ultimately prove to be the difference on a tense occasion.

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Portsmouth boss Kenny Jackett pictured on January 28, 2020
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