This is the pre season curtain raiser for these two neighbours. Regular readers will know that I hold United in high regard and they were very unlucky not to do better last season, when from Christmas onwards, they were the best team in the BSP.
Boss Chris Wilder did a terrific job and he has really strengthened the squad in the off season, adding Mark Creighton, Dannie Bulman, Jack Midson, Ryan Clarke, Marcus Kelly, Alfie Potter and Alex Rhodes all of whom will be part of a full-strength squad this evening. Which will also include key midfielder Adam Murray, who is set to return to action after a long termfoot injury.
Pre season training has gone very well, all the newbies have bonded with the rest of the squad, which looks head and shoulders above what almost all the rest of the BSP has to offer. Clear difference in class here and I would rate United three divisions (ok, at least two and a bit) above City in terms of ability. They are also vastly more experienced and should know too much for the home team's young (Dave Savage aside !) squad, with half of the starting line up likely to be sub 21 years of age.
Oxford City: from Clarke, Baird, Ballard, Gunn, Caton, Perpetuini, Lyon, Bell, Davis, Savage, Malone, Pond, Alexis, Greaves, Faulconbridge, Fisher, Steele, Carbon, Rendell, Foster, Drakes.
Oxford Utd: from Turley, Batt, Sandwith, Bulman, Foster, Creighton, Chapman, Murray, Constable, Midson, Clist, Kelly, Potter, Rhodes, Killock, Deering, Clarke, Carruthers, Green, Groves, Sampson, Benjamin.
6.5 points Oxford United -1.25 goals 2.13 + asian line.