The Opposition: Morecambe v Oxford United

Oxford United's Kemar Roofe in action during the FA Cup win over Swansea City. Picture: David Davies/PA Wire
Oxford United's Kemar Roofe in action during the FA Cup win over Swansea City. Picture: David Davies/PA Wire

Morecambe go in search of a first win in six League 2 games against Oxford on Saturday.

Manager

Michael Appleton

After a midtable finish last season, Appleton and Oxford have far higher ambitions this time around. With a Johnstone’s Paint Trophy final to come and sitting third in the table, the former Preston North End midfielder is going a long way to rebuilding a promising managerial career that stalled at Blackpool and Blackburn Rovers.

Key Man

Kemar Roofe

Striker has grabbed all the headlines with his heroics against Swansea City in the FA Cup and has scored 18 goals in all competitions this season. When United have needed him to step up to the mark, Roofe has done so and was a valuable addition to the side from West Brom after enjoying a successful loan spell at the club at the end of last season.

Form

United’s recent form has been a little hit and miss, possibly not helped by the nice interruptions of the FA Cup and JPT. But despite being without a win in three games and conceding an 89th minute equaliser against Mansfield in the 2-2 draw on Tuesday night, spirits are high.

History

Shrimps have won just two of 14 meetings between the sides down the years. One of the wins came in last season’s corresponding fixture, with Kevin Ellison scoring the only goal of the game in a 1-0 win. Back in September, Barry Roche saved a penalty as The Shrimps battled to a 0-0 draw at the Kassam Stadium.

Possible line-up

Buchel, Kenny, Mullins, Wright, Skarz, MacDonald, Sercombe, Lundstram, Maguire, Roofe, Hylton. Subs: Slocombe, O’Dowda, Ismail, Bowery, Evans, Dunkley, Ruffels.