Oxford United host the Grecians on Saturday, in a fixture that the hosts are the favourites to win. The two sides met three times last season, with the U’s winning twice and Exeter winning this exact fixture 1-0.
Oxford have had an outstanding start to the League One campaign as they sit in 4th place, one point behind first with a game in hand. Liam Manning’s side have either walked away with three points or none so far this season, but thankfully the former has been a regular occurrence. The U’s have won five games out of seven, yet they have been far more productive in attack on the road, than they have at home.
Last time out, Oxford beat Fleetwood away from home with a comfortable 3-0 score line, however the hosts missed a couple of big chances. The U’s were 2-0 up by halftime and added their third on the hour mark, but even with the lead, they continued to attack. Billy Bodin starred and registered a goal and an assist after replacing Mark Harris in the striker role due to the number nine getting sent off against Port Vale. Oxford lost their second home game in a row on Tuesday evening as they suffered a 1-0 defeat to MK Dons, who threatened on the counter throughout.
The Grecians have also had an excellent start to the new campaign and they are currently placed in second on 16 points, after winning five and drawing once out of eight matches. Exeter have been particularly impressive on the road and they actually hold the best away record in the league at the moment. Their success on their travels has come from their strong defensive foundations which has only conceded one goal in four away ties. This goal came in the 1-0 defeat away to Portsmouth, where Exeter missed four huge opportunities.
However this week, their defensive record took an enormous hit, as they suffered an astounding 9-0 defeat at home to Reading in the EFL Trophy. That said, they did make 10 changes to the side that beat Cheltenham Town 1-0 last weekend, so it is difficult to read too much into it even though the result was an appropriate reflection of the game.
With both clubs performing well, we should be in for quite a close contest. Exeter’s defensive record on the road cannot be ignored but Oxford will threaten throughout. Either side could just edge it but I think Oxford will pick up their first draw of the season.
The final prediction is Oxford Utd 1-1 Exeter City