Shrewsbury Town face a difficult test when they travel to free-scoring Oxford tomorrow afternoon.
Sam Ricketts has labelled Oxford the best side in the league. And whilst they are 11 points behind leaders Wycombe, their flamboyant playing style coupled with 37 league goals – the second highest scored, makes for a compelling case.
But Shrewsbury’s mean defence includes eight clean sheets in all competitions, with Sam Ricketts on the hunt for a ninth.
He can recall full-back Donald Love who was suspended for the mid-week penalty shootout defeat against Manchester City U21.
Ollie Norburn’s red card against Mansfield in the FA Cup was overturned and he is available for selection. Norwich City loanee Louis Thompson is unavailable through injury.
Shaun Whalley (calf) has returned to training but remains a major doubt for the trip to the Kassam Stadium. Romain Vincelot (hip) and Ryan Sears (ACL) continue their recoveries.
Shrewsbury could include Frenchman Ousmane Fane in a league squad for the first time since his arrival on a free transfer.
Oxford were Sam Ricketts’ first club – the Welshman made 48 appearances from 2000 to 2003.
Town’s last away victory against Oxford came in December 2014. James Collins and Mark Ellis were on target in a 2-0 win.
The home side will be without Alex Gorrin who is suspended after collecting his fifth yellow card of the season.
Former Blackburn Rovers goalkeeper Simon Eastwood is a doubt with a knee injury. Shandon Baptiste (groin) is likely to be out.
However, Jamie Hanson can return to the squad after recovering from a hamstring problem.
Oxford who occupy 6th place, beat Southend 4-0 in their previous league outing.
Possible Line Ups
Oxford United: (4-3-3)
13. Stevens, 2. Cadden, 4. Dickie, 15. Mousinho, 3. Ruffles, 17. Henry, 5. Moore, 14. Forde, 18. Sykes, 9. Taylor, 11. Fosu
Subs: 7. Hall, 12. Long, 20. Hanson 23. Agyei, 30. Zamouri, 46. Jones, Harris
Shrewsbury Town: (3-4-3)
25. O’Leary, 5. Williams, 24. Ebanks-Landell, 2. Pierre, 17. Love, 8. Norburn, 28. Laurent, 3. Golbourne, 4. Edwards, 35. Cummings, 11. Giles
Subs: 1. Murphy, 6. Beckles, 10. Okenabirhie, 15. Walker, 20. Fane 22. Goss, 23. Udoh
Other League One Fixtures
Blackpool V Fleetwood
Bolton V AFC Wimbledon
Bristol Rovers V Southend
Burton V Lincoln
Coventry V Ipswich
Doncaster V MK Dons
Gillingham V Sunderland
Portsmouth V Peterborough
Rotherham V Rochdale
Tranmere V Accrington