Spurs under 21’s versus Oxford United: (match preview)
After recording an impressive 2-1 win against Manchester City in the PL2 on Saturday afternoon, Wayne Burnett’s development side will be hoping for more of the same when they go toe to toe with league one side Oxford United on Tuesday in the second round of the Checkatrade trophy. The game against the league one club is without doubt their biggest game of the season so far. Our youngsters did ever so well to progress from the group stages of the competition and whatever happens next can only be a bonus for Burnett’s side. Our development side are on a good run at the moment and they are unbeaten in their last four matches in all competitions. Impressive wins over both Manchester City under 23’s and Wolfsburg II this month will give Spurs the belief and confidence that they can get the better of the league one club at the Kassam stadium on Tuesday. Oxford manager Karl Robinson recently took in a Spurs under 23 game (the 2-2 draw with Everton) and he and his coaching staff will have been doing a fair bit of research on Burnett’s side ahead of this game. The twice runners up of this competition are a side in good form in league one, after enduring a difficult start to the campaign. The ‘ U’s ’ have won six of their last ten games in all competitions and they sit in a fairly comfortable 18th position in league one. Robinson’s sides home form is particularly impressive and the ‘ Yellows ’ have won five of their last six games at the Kassam stadium. Some of Oxford’s most influential players are goal scoring midfielder James Henry, West Ham loanee Marcus Browne who plays as a ten, and midfield orchestrator and former Liverpool man Cameron Brannagan. Other players that are worth keeping an eye on are experienced centre forward Jamie Mackie, captain John Mousinho, former Spurs forward Jon Obika and Everton loanee Luke Garbutt. Garbutt is a particularly attack minded left back who is an excellent crosser of the ball. We are now in the knockout stages of the competition and Oxford will want to progress to the third round. Karl Robinson’s attack minded side who have already beaten Fulham’s under 21’s in the competition this season, will not want to be embarrassed by Burnett’s side in their own back yard in front of their home fans.
Unbeaten in their last four games in all competitions Wayne Burnett’s side have performed excellently in this competition this season, and for them to progress from what was a tricky group is an achievement that shouldn’t be sniffed at. After fielding a weakened side for our match against Manchester City on Saturday, Burnett will most likely have key players TJ Eyoma, Anthony Georgiou and the in form Jack Roles back in the side for Tuesday nights game. I am extremely proud of all that our lads have achieved in the Checkatrade trophy so far this campaign and I would like nothing more than to see them beat Oxford under the floodlights at the Kassam stadium, to book a tie against Cheltenham in the next round of the competition. This will be a very challenging game for our young lads but I have every confidence and belief that they can cause an upset and progress to the next round of the competition. I will be reporting on Tuesday nights match and I would like to wish Wayne Burnett’s lads all the very best of luck for what is a massive game.
My predicted lineup: (4-2-3-1) Whiteman, Hinds, Eyoma, Tanganga (c), Brown, Marsh, Bowden, Oakley-Boothe, Roles, Georgiou, Sterling.
Subs from: Austin, Reynolds, Duncan, Clarke, Richards.
Injured/unavailable: Luke Amos, Shayon Harrison, Jonathan Dinzeyi, Malachi Walcott, Phoenix Patterson, J’Neil Bennett.
Doubtful: Shilow Tracey.
Previous meeting: N/A.
My score prediction: Spurs 2-1.
My one to watch: The ‘ U’s ’ experienced midfielder James Henry (29) the former Wolves man has been a key player for Karl Robinson’s side this season. The in form Henry has scored five goals from his last four appearances for Oxford United.