Its finally here, the game all Swindon fans have been waiting for this season. The return of the A420 Derby, this time a month after it was supposed to be played after the Covid19 cases at Swindon Town. This game will not be the same with out the fans, it will lack the atmosphere this heated rivalry deserves. It will feel very strange and serine.
Swindon Town are going into this game after suffering a defeat at the hands to Lincoln City from a goal from a part time model in Lewis Montsma. Mathieu Baudry then spurred a last-minute chance from close range to give the Robins a priceless point in the bid to survive the drop into League two. I saw some people moaning on social media about the team’s performance and the set up and that its too negative. I have not seen a problem with the set up against Bristol Rovers and against Lincoln City on Tuesday night. I think people will have to realise that last season football under Richie Wellens is a thing of the past and Wellensball is gone. We are in a fight for a relegation battle and the football under John Sheridan will be gritty and not pretty to watch and the club will try and scrap they way up from the bottom four.
John Sheridan did a pre match press conference with Paul Caddis before tomorrow game and here are some snippets from the press conference. Excellent news is that Tyler Smith and Diallang Jaiyesimi are back in the squad. Johnny Smith is with the physio and waiting to see the outcome of the injury. Jordan Lyden is not ready yet after the injury he picked up in the Charlton Athletic game in early September. Sheridan was very complimentary on Oxford united; Oxford are technically a very good team and Karl is a quality coach and puts out good sides. Paul Caddis did not know it was 19 years since Swindon beat Oxford. March 2001 was the last time Swindon beat Oxford in all forms. Steve Robinson was the hero then with both Swindon goals in a 2-0 win at the Manor Ground. A lot has changed since then.
My Predicted Swindon XI 4-3-3
Kovar, Odimayo, Baudry, Broadbent, Donohue, Grant, Caddis, M. Smith, Stevens, J. Grant, Hope
Oxford United have surprised me this season, I did not expect to see them in the bottom half of the table at this point in the season. Rivalries aside, they have been on the up in the last few seasons and under Karl Robinson they like to play an attacking brand of football. I wonder if the play off defeat to Wycombe has had a bit of a hangover effect on the club and losing key players in the summer transfer window. Rob Dickie the key player to leave Oxford United, the highly rated defender left for QPR for an undisclosed fee.
This is a battle between 18th and 19th, Oxford form has picked up recently after a surprising poor start to the season. Its been a strange season for them so far, games called due to covid, the Accrington Stanley coach incident where the COVID alcohol spray halted the team bus and locked the bus for 6 hours and they all had to get taxis to the game. The last five games Oxford United pick up 7 points from 5. Two defeats away at both Charlton and Fleetwood at the end of October. A 3-1 win over Rochdale, a 2-1 win over Wigan last weekend was followed up a good point midweek away at Portsmouth.
Karl Robinson likes to play one way and that’s attractive football; he has come across a 4-3-3 formation that his team are used. He has only steered away from this set up a few times to play a 4-3-1-2 and a 4-2-3-1. Key men to watch out for Oxford is obviously Matt Taylor who has netted 4 times in 12 appearances. James Henry on the wing is a dangerous customer and he has scored 2 goals in 12 appearances. Also, Liam Kelly who is on loan from Dutch side Feyenoord and has been getting all the hype from the oxford fans and rightly so.
This is going to be a scrap; one team likes to play lovely attacking football and the other is getting back to the basics with a new man in charge and has been nicking draws and wins since his arrival. Tomorrow game is going to be tough; Swindon are looking to end 19 and a half years of hurt and Oxford are looking to add more pain to Swindon woes.