Preview: Oxford United v Pools

The Kassam Stadium, Oxford United

Oxford United v Hartlepool United
Emirates FA Cup Third Round
Saturday 4th January 2020, 3.01pm
The Kassam Stadium

In Opposition

Oxford United have emerged as one of the strong contenders for promotion from League One this season and have enjoyed a strong campaign under Karl Robinson.

A surprise defeat at Doncaster Rovers on New Year’s Day left them sitting fourth in the table but they’re only two points off an automatic promotion spot and a mere five points behind leaders Wycombe Wanderers.

The 1-0 loss on Wednesday was only their second league defeat in 17 outings and they will be aiming to bounce back when they host second-placed Rotherham United next weekend.

However, a run in the FA Cup is also important to Robinson’s side and The U’s boss revealed he’s hoping to step up his transfer business ahead of the weekend’s meeting with Pools.

One To Watch

James Henry has become a fans’ favourite at Oxford United since arriving from Wolves during the summer of 2017.

He’s hit double figures in each of his three seasons at The Kassam Stadium and he struck the winner in the last round of the FA Cup as The U’s won 1-0 at Walsall.

A former Reading youngster, Henry made almost 150 appearances for Millwall during four years at The Den before a successful three-year stint at Molineux.

Head To Head

Saturday’s game will be the 17th competitive meeting between the two sides but will be the first occasion that Pools and Oxford United have clashed in the FA Cup.

Oxford did the double over Pools the last time the two teams shared a division back in 2015/16 though we do have recent success at The Kassam Stadium having won 2-0 there the previous season.

Last Meeting

Oxford United 2 Pools 0
Saturday 23rd April 2016

Oxford United: Buchel, Skarz (Lundstram 65), Wright, Kenny, Dunkley, Sercombe, Ruffles, Maguire, Roofe (O’Dowda 57), Hylton, MacDonald (Roberts 79).
Subs not used: Slocombe, Mullins, Waring, Bowery.

Pools: Carson, Magnay, Bates, Jackson, Carroll, Thomas, Woods (Bingham 79), Featherstone, Hawkins, Gray (Oates 70), James (Duckworth 85).
Subs not used: Bartlett, Richards, Jones, Laurent.

On The Whistle

Michael Salisbury will be the man in the middle for this weekend’s FA Cup tie against Oxford United at The Kassam Stadium.

The experienced official has been on the EFL’s list of referees for the last three seasons and has twice taken charge of Pools game in the past.

Salisbury was on the whistle for our 1-1 draw with Yeovil Town on home soil in February 2017 and was also at The Vic to see us beaten 2-1 by Notts County the previous August.

He has refereed 20 games so far in the current campaign and has shown 9 red cards, including one in his last outing when Bolton Wanderers drew 1-1 with Shrewsbury Town.

Live Commentary

As usual, we’ll be providing full live online commentary for fans all over the world so if you can’t get to the game make sure you join us here on the Official Website.

Mark Simpson will be joined by former Premier League referee Jeff Winter for full coverage from The Kassam Stadium and the duo will be on-air from 2.50pm.

Click here now to access the FREE live online commentary.

Buying Tickets

Pools fans can buy their tickets in advance from The Vic until 3pm on Friday and then also from The Kassam Stadium prior to kick-off on Saturday.

Click here for all the information you need on buying tickets for the match.

Competition Rules

Both sides can name up to seven substitutes in FA Cup ties.

If the game is level after 90 minutes, then there will be a replay played at Victoria Park.

Betting Odds

Oxford United 8/25
Pools 38/5
Draw 19/5

Click here for a full list of markets and odds ahead of Saturday’s game.