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Wednesday, 23 January, 2019

Oxford can sink Coventry at Wembley

Marvin Johnson (left) celebrates reaching Wembley with Cheyenne Dunkley
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EFL Trophy final
Sky Sports 3, 2.30pm Sunday

Oxford lost out in the EFL Trophy final last season but they can make amends by beating Coventry at Wembley.

United were a Sky Bet League Two side on that occasion, going down 3-2 to Barnsley, but they are deservedly rated odds-on in places to get the better of Coventry this time around.

Michael Appleton's team are one of the most attractive teams to watch in Sky Bet League One and those who believe shot statistics are crucial will have Oxford high up in their third-tier ratings.

Only Sheffield United have a better shots-on-target ratio (share of match shots) and they are a side who usually perform well under pressure having gained promotion last term. They have also had two excellent FA Cup runs in the last couple of seasons.

Both teams are missing influential performers - on-loan Conor McAleny who scored a hat-trick against Bury on Tuesday is one of the Oxford's cup-tied players - but Coventry head to Wembley without first-choice centre-backs Nathan Clarke and Farrend Rawson.

That could be too much of a hindrance for Mark Robins, the Coventry manager who recently returned to the club with the Sky Blues almost certainly heading for relegation.

Cov have won each of their last two at home against Port Vale and Bristol Rovers but the last meeting between the clubs ended in a 4-1 demolition job in favour of United.

Kane Hemmings scored in that November game and was the the difference between the sides. With him alongside Chris Maguire Oxford have a twin goal threat to test Coventry's makeshift defence.

1pt 11-10 Betway

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Team news
Kwame Thomas and Marcus Tudgay should be fit. Nathan Clarke, Farrend Rawson, Charles Vernam and Kevin Foley are cup-tied.

Conor McAleny, Antonio Martinez and Charlie Raglan are cup-tied. Michael Appleton is hopeful that Michael Johnson and Chris Maguire will overcome their injury problems. 

Key stat
Coventry have kept three clean sheets in their last 23 matches.


Coventry head to Wembley without first-choice centre-backs Nathan Clarke and Farrend Rawson
E.W. Terms
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