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League Two Preview: Oxford, Scunthorpe set for key promotion clash

27 December 2013 23:22

Oxford United take on Scunthorpe United on Sunday with both sides eager to take a big stride towards promotion from League Two.

The two sides are tied on 38 points along with Burton Albion, two points adrift of leaders of Chesterfield, with second-placed Oxford only ahead on goal difference.

However, Oxford are without a win in their last two league outings, and the hosts will need to be at their best if Chris Wilder's men are to overcome a side that has not tasted defeat in the league since their surprise 2-0 loss to Accrington Stanley on November 16.

A slip-up by either side could allow Burton or Newport County - one point further back ahead of their visit to Burton - to move into the top three.

Both Burton and Newport are without defeat in six league fixtures, but managers Gary Rowett and Justin Edinburgh will be eager for their sides to maintain their strong form and prevent Southend United or Rochdale from leapfrogging them in the crowded promotion race.

Southend and Rochdale are level with fifth-placed Newport on 37 points, and should be confident of keeping pace with the teams above them as they face strugglers Accrington and Bristol Rovers respectively.

Meanwhile, Chesterfield will look to bounce back from a disappointing draw with Hartlepool United and secure their 12th win of the season against Dagenham and Redbridge, who boast the division's top scorer in Irish striker Rhys Murphy, who has 11 goals.

At the other end of the table, bottom club Northampton Town face Portsmouth seeking to find some form after only two wins in their last 12 league games.

Relegation-threatened Bury and York City meet in a clash that could prove crucial to their respective survival hopes, while Mansfield Town will be out to end a 13-game league winless run against Cheltenham Town.

Torquay United can pull away from the bottom two with a win over local rivals Exeter City, and play-off hopefuls Fleetwood Town travel to Wycombe Wanderers looking to avoid a third straight league defeat.

Elsewhere, Morecambe face Hartlepool and Wimbledon meet Plymouth Argyle.

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Friday 26 December

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Premier League table

# Team MP D P
1 17 +25 42
2 17 +22 39
3 17 +12 32
4 17 +10 31
5 17 +15 29
6 17 +9 27
7 17 -1 27
8 17 +3 25
9 17 -5 23
10 17 -3 22
11 17 +0 21
12 17 -10 20
13 17 -5 19
14 17 -9 19
15 17 -6 17
16 17 -12 17
17 17 -8 15
18 17 -14 15
19 17 -9 13
20 17 -14 10

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