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Match Previews

Match preview: Oxford United v Morecambe

29 October 2021

The Shrimps travel to the Kassam Stadium to face Oxford United in Sky Bet League One on Saturday 30 October.

The Opposition
 
After earning a point on home soil against league-leaders Plymouth Argyle on Saturday, the Shrimps are back on the road this weekend as they take on Oxford City in Sky Bet League One. 
 
Out of 13 meetings between the two sides, Morecambe have won just two, one in March 2012 and the other in August 2014. The U’s have won five, including the last meeting between the two teams which was a 4-2 victory in February 2016. This will be the first ever League One clash between the two. 
 
Form guide
 
Last season, Oxford finished sixth in League One, but were beaten in the Play-Off Semi-Finals by eventual winners Blackpool. Ahead of Saturday’s game, they currently sit sixth with two wins out of their last two games.
 
As a player, Karl Robinson plied his trade in non-league after he left Caernarfon Town in the Cymru Premier. He played as a striker/midfielder and represented the likes of Bamber Bridge, Marine, Oswestry Town, among others. The 41-year-old made the switch to management in 2010 and spent six years at MK Dons, before spending two years at Charlton Athletic. Robinson was appointed United boss in March 2018.
 
Karl Robinson’s pre-match thoughts 
 
The Oxford boss has missed his side’s last three games after he tested positive for coronavirus, however he is set to return to the dugout on Saturday for the visit of the Shrimps, and said he’s looking forward to the game.
 
“I’ve come back today, loved being on the training pitches again and can’t wait to get back to the match on Saturday,” Robinson said.
 
“It’s not going to be easy, Morecambe are well managed; we did a coaching course together a while back and I’m pleased to see Stephen doing well there.”
 
United’s key players
 
32-year-old James Henry is currently leading goalscorer for the U’s with six goals so far this campaign. The Reading youth product spent time at a number of clubs on loan before joining Millwall on a permanent basis in 2010 following two loan spells. After signing for Wolverhampton Wanderers, Henry joined Oxford United in 2017 and is approaching 50 goals scored for the club. 
 
U’s academy product Matty Taylor rejoined Oxford in 2020 after over ten years away. During this time, the striker went on to play for Forest Green Rovers, Bristol Rovers and Bristol City, among others. This season, the 31-year-old has got his name on the scoresheet five times to-date.
 
Defender Sam Long was last year’s Player of the Year and earned himself a place in the Sky Bet League One team of the season. The 26-year-old has been known to get forward from defence at times and scored six goals last season. He progressed through the club's academy and signed a new three year deal in April this year.
 
Shrimps’s pre-match thoughts
 
Shrimps' boss Stephen Robinson was impressed with his side’s performance on Saturday when they were held to a point by high-flyers Plymouth. 
 
“We pressed really well, we passed the ball, you control the game when you’ve got the ball, not when they’ve got the ball, and out of possession as well, I thought we were very good,” he said.
 
“Karl [Robinson] has built that team over a period of time, and probably what we’re trying to emulate really.
 
“We’re trying to get to that stage where we’ve got a squad as strong as him, we’ve got an identity and a style like Oxford, and it’s a good club to aim for really.”
 
Meet the men in black
 
Lee Swabey will take charge of Saturday afternoon’s match with assistants Stephen Brown and Anthony Da Costa running the line, Marc Wilson will be the fourth official.
 
The Devon-based referee has been the man in the middle eight times this season and has handed out 16 yellow cards so far.
 
Swabey handed out his first red card of the season earlier on this month when he refereed Gillingham vs Sunderland in League One.
 
He last took charge of the Shrimps in May 2021 when they won 2-0 away at Walsall in League Two. 
 
Don’t miss a kick with our iFollow coverage
 
After teaming up with Beyond Radio for the 2021/22 season, supporters will be able to listen to exclusive, full and uninterrupted radio commentary of every single game, home and away, which will be broadcast simultaneously across North Lancashire on 103.5 and 107.5FM, as well as on the iFollow Shrimps platform.
 
Joining host Dave Salmon is the club’s media assistant Matt Smith, audio passes are available from as little as £2.50 per match, £4.49 for a monthly pass or £45 for a season pass.
 
As well as full match commentary, the ‘Shrimps Verdict’ podcast will be available post-match, featuring online, on demand content, including audio match highlights, post-match interviews and reaction, and the chance for supporters to have their say.

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