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Saturday, January 22
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Dec 4, 2021 at 3pm UK
SunderlandSunderland
1-1
Oxford UtdOxford United
Dajaku (7')
Wright (13'), Neill (40')
FT(HT: 1-1)
Taylor (36')
Brannagan (5'), Taylor (13')

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

:Headline: Preview: Sunderland vs. Oxford United - prediction, team news, lineups:
Sports Mole previews Saturday's League One clash between Sunderland and Oxford United, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
Sports Mole

Oxford United have the opportunity to leapfrog Saturday's opponents Sunderland into the League One playoff positions, if the Yellows can collect all three points at the Stadium of Light.

Sunderland are currently on a three-game unbeaten run in the league, while Oxford have strung together six domestic outings without defeat.


Match preview

Lee Johnson's side have not defended their EFL Trophy title and dropped out of the competition on Wednesday evening as they fell to a 1-0 defeat against League Two outfit Oldham Athletic.

However, a 2-1 triumph last weekend against Cambridge United ensured that the Black Cats remained fifth in the table and with one game in hand on leaders Rotherham, Sunderland can draw level on points with top spot.

Sunderland's form at the Stadium of Light this season has almost been perfect, losing just one of their eight league matches on home soil, while Oxford did struggle on their travels at the start of this season.

A major factor as to why Sunderland have returned so many points on their own patch this campaign is that they have only conceded four goals in the North East, the best home defensive record in the division.

Karl Robinson's side can boast the best home record in tier three so far but in contrast they rank 17th in the away form table, although, seven of their eight away points have come in their last three consecutive games on the road.

Last time out table-toppers Rotherham visited the Kassam Stadium and the two teams played out a goalless draw, which left Robinson feeling proud of his players' efforts after the squad have been hit with many coronavirus cases.

The Yellows have two games in hand on three of the teams above them and one game in hand on two of the sides in the playoff positions, so three points on Saturday will put Oxford in a strong position to break into and retain a place in the top six.

As League One approach the halfway stage of the fixture list, Robinson will want his side to finish the first half of the season in a strong position to have something to fight for in the new year.

Sunderland hold the better record in the recent meetings between these two teams, and the Black Cats completed the double over the Yellows last season.

Sunderland League One form:
  • L
  • L
  • L
  • W
  • D
  • W

Sunderland form (all competitions):
  • L
  • D
  • W
  • D
  • W
  • L

Oxford United League One form:
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • D
  • W
  • D

Oxford United form (all competitions):
  • W
  • D
  • D
  • L
  • W
  • D

Team News

Ross Stewart is leading the way on the goalscoring front for Sunderland, having netted 10 times in 18 appearances, with the next best in the red and white stripes coming from Carl Winchester and Aiden McGeady, who both have three goals to their name.

Winchester is expected to start in centre midfield alongside Daniel Neil, who also provides an attacking threat from the middle of the pitch having registered five assists this season.

Nathan Broadhead, who is on loan from Everton, scored his first league goal for Sunderland against Cambridge and he is expected to start in an attacking role for the home side.

Oxford have been without seven first team players for the last two games due to COVID-19, meaning that goalkeeper Connal Trueman was brought in on an emergency loan from Birmingham City, but he has now returned to the Blues and Yellows keeper Simon Eastwood will return between the posts.

Oxford's top goalscorer Matty Taylor was forced to miss the last two games but he will be a welcome return this weekend, along with centre-back Elliot Moore.

Sunderland possible starting lineup:
Hoffman; O'Nien, Wright, Doyle, Gooch; Neil, Winchester; Broadhead, Pritchard, O'Brien; Stewart

Oxford United possible starting lineup:
Eastwood; Seddon, Thorniley, Moore, Long; Brannagan, Kane, Henry; Holland, Taylor, Sykes


We say: Sunderland 1-2 Oxford United

Oxford will be boosted by the return of some key players and their confidence will be high having put together a strong run of form in League One and dealing with big hits to their squad.

Sunderland are also not in bad form themselves but their run across the end of October and beginning of November shows that there are still weaknesses for Oxford to exploit on Saturday.



Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting under 3.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Under 3.5:data



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League One Table
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Wigan AthleticWigan24173447242354
2Sunderland28166653332054
3Rotherham UnitedRotherham26165546182853
4Wycombe WanderersWycombe28157646331352
5MK Dons27137746321446
6Oxford UnitedOxford Utd27137743311246
7Plymouth ArgylePlymouth26127741311043
8Sheffield WednesdaySheff Weds26101063632440
9Ipswich TownIpswich2710894537838
10Portsmouth2610882925438
11Burton Albion26106103332136
12Cambridge UnitedCambridge279993739-236
13Accrington StanleyAccrington27106113343-1036
14Charlton AthleticCharlton2796123432233
15Bolton WanderersBolton2695123337-432
16Lincoln CityLincoln2687113134-331
17Cheltenham TownCheltenham27710103246-1431
18Shrewsbury TownShrewsbury2786132630-430
19AFC Wimbledon2561093137-628
20Fleetwood TownFleetwood2677123845-728
21Morecambe2776143853-1527
22Crewe AlexandraCrewe2757152445-2122
23Doncaster RoversDoncaster2754181949-3019
24Gillingham2639142144-2318
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Premier League Table
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Manchester CityMan City23183255144157
2Liverpool21136255183745
3Chelsea23128346182844
4Manchester UnitedMan Utd2211563630638
5West Ham UnitedWest Ham23114841311037
6Tottenham HotspurSpurs1911352622436
7Arsenal2011273325835
8Wolverhampton WanderersWolves2110471916334
9Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton2161142222029
10Aston Villa2182112832-426
11Leicester CityLeicester197483336-325
12Southampton2251072634-825
13Crystal Palace215973031-124
14Brentford2365122638-1223
15Leeds UnitedLeeds215792440-1622
16Everton2054112435-1119
17Norwich CityNorwich2244141345-3216
18Newcastle UnitedNewcastle2129102143-2215
19Watford2042142340-1714
20Burnley171881627-1111
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