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Carlisle United vs Oxford United - Preview

Andy Neale

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Carlisle host Oxford this Saturday in what i believe will be a very good match. Oxford arrive at Brunton Park in decent form having won their last two (Northampton 1-3 Oxford & Oxford 2-0 Tranmere) which is a big change from being beat by Cambridge 5-1. Carlisle, on paper, don't look like their form is the best, but due to poor first half performances against Plymouth and Burton, they have often had to dig themselves out of a whole by half time, meaning they are actually playing well in the second half of games. Carlisle have scored 13 goals in 6 games under relatively new boss Keith Curle, averaging 2.16 goals a match, which is a massive turnaround to the amount of goals they scored under Kavanagh, which was 2 goals in 5 games, averaging a goal every 0.4 games. These two teams last played each other in the league in the 2005/06 season, the year Carlisle won the league, with both teams winning their home games.

Mark Gillespie (Groin) is still out for Carlisle this Saturday, along with Billy Paynter (un-known muscle injury) whilst it is unknown whether David Amoo, Steven Rigg and Danny Kearns will be fit enough to play on Saturday after returning to injury. Oxford don't so far, have any injuries so they could have a full squad to pick from.

I expect Curle to make changes to the team for Carlisle, with Troy Archibald-Henville pushing for a recall after missing Tuesday's match with Burton due to his knee. Courtney Meppen-Walter may also return to the heart of the defence along side Troy as Sean O'Hanlon and Paul Thirlwell who played there on Tuesday night didn't exactly cover themselves in glory. I expect Kyle Dempsey to drop back into a deeper role, playing alongside Gary Dicker, Antony Sweeney or maybe even Brad Potts if David Amoo is fit enough to start. Stephen Elliott is also pushing for a recall on the left wing. Curle has a variety of options up-front, with Mark Beck, Steven Rigg and Derek Asamoah fighting for the two starting slots. I would think Oxford shall stick with the same team having won on Tuesday night.

A tough game to call this one, but i think i will go for a 2-2 draw.
 

Saddlerrad

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League 2 has SO many fixtures that you could split a hair on. This being another one? How on earth are you meant to pick a winner. Carlisle conceded 4 but didn't take a hammering and Oxford have been woeful but just won 3-1 at pre-season favourites Northampton. Hmmm.
 

Andy Neale

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League 2 has SO many fixtures that you could split a hair on. This being another one? How on earth are you meant to pick a winner. Carlisle conceded 4 but didn't take a hammering and Oxford have been woeful but just won 3-1 at pre-season favourites Northampton. Hmmm.
Yes, it's hard to predict. Anybody can beat anybody in this division!
 

Saddlerrad

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Indeed, league 2 was like that last year also! I don't think you have to be that great to get promoted, just consistent.
 

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