Oxford United vs Blackpool preview: How to watch, kick-off time, team news, predicted lineups and ones to watch
Sulley Kaikai of Blackpool and Sam Long of Oxford United, battling it out in the reverse fixture earlier this season | (Photo by Stephen White - CameraSport via Getty Images)

On Saturday afternoon (15:00), Oxford United host a tough Blackpool side who haven't conceded on the road in over a month. The Yellows are looking for an eighth clean sheet in ten games at the Kassam.

Oxford smashed Doncaster Rovers 3-0 at home in midweek, and are looking to get their play-off charge back on track following a patch of inconsistency recently. The hosts went ten games unbeaten between December and February; the Yellows' impressive run saw them shoot up the table before humbling defeats to Portsmouth and Hull City.

Three points for Karl Robinson's men could see them move into the top six, depending on other results.

Neil Critchley's side are unbeaten in eight League One games; however, four of the Seasider's last five have finished level. The visitors are five points adrift of Charlton Athletic, who are currently occupying the final play-off spot, but Blackpool have four games in hand over the Addicks.

If the Tangerines beat Oxford by a two-goal margin on Saturday, they will leapfrog the hosts and edge one step closer towards their target.

  • Team news

Oxford United have a full squad available with no fresh injury concerns for Karl Robinson.

Daniel Gretarsson and Gary Madine are likely to miss out for the visitors, as they recover from injuries sustained in January.

Long-term absentee, Keshi Anderson, is also ruled out for Blackpool on the weekend.

  • Predicted lineups

Oxford: Stevens; Ruffels, Atkinson, Moore, Hanson, Brannagan, Gorrin, Kelly, Barker, Shodipo, Taylor.

Blackpool: Maxwell; Husband, Ekpiteta, Ballard, Turton, Stuart, Virtue-Thick, Kaikai, Ward, Embleton, Yates.

  • Ones to watch

Matty Taylor

Matty Taylor scored two first-half goals in the U's midweek win, taking his tally to 13 for the season. The former Bristol City striker suffered a dry spell prior to his brace against Doncaster.

Inevitably, Taylor will be raring to go again now that he is in back amongst the goals, and Blackpool could pay the price on Saturday. With Olamide Shodipo and Brandon Barker either side of him, a chance is never afar for the 30-year-old, who has found his shooting boots again recently.

Marvin Ekpiteta

Blackpool have struggled going forward recently and have relied heavily on their defence in weeks gone by, but it has worked. Saturday will be no different, as the Seasiders head to the Kassam in search of a fourth successive away clean sheet. Marvin Ekpiteta will be key for the visitors if they are to leave Oxford with a point, or three.

Ekpiteta has been a constant in the Blackpool backline in recent weeks; despite having to play alongside multiple defensive partners due to injuries. To further echo the impact he could have against the Yellows' attacking trio; the 24-year-old averages more blocks per game than any of his teammates, 

  • Past meetings

Earlier this season, the reverse fixture finished goalless at Bloomfield Road.

The last time the two sides faced at the Kassam Stadium, Oxford United ran out 2-1 winners, courtesy of a Marcus Browne brace to turn the game on its head.

  • How to watch

The match is available to watch on iFollow through Oxford United or Blackpool's respective club websites/apps, with match passes available at £10 for those across the United Kingdom.

From 15:00, goals and key events will be available to watch as they happen for Sky Sports customers on Soccer Saturday.

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