Oxford United’s weekend clash with Wigan Athletic was postponed because seven of their first-team players tested positive with Covid-19.
This leaves The U’s with an extremely depleted team for tomorrow’s game with Fleetwood Town.
Karl Robinson revealed to the Banbury Cake that Simon Eastwood, Anthony Forde, Elliott Moore, John Mousinho, Mark Sykes, Matty Taylor and Jordan Thorniley, were the seven players who had tested positive for the virus.
Adding to that, Alex Gorrin, Jack Stevens and Sam Winnall, are also expected to miss out because of injury or illness, leaving Robinson with just 14 players at his disposal, from his senior pool of players.
Quiz: Have Oxford United ever won an away game at each of these 20 stadiums?
Here, we try to dissect how Oxford could line up tomorrow evening if the game goes ahead…
With no senior goalkeepers available, a move for an emergency loan goalkeeper will be high up on Robinson’s agenda before kick-off tomorrow evening.
Regular right-back Sam Long is likely to continue operating at right-back, although, there is a possibility that he will be tasked with operating at centre-back.
Luke McNally and Jamie Hanson could form the centre-back pairing for The U’s, but with both vastly inexperienced at this level, Robinson may choose to deploy Long as a central defender.
Steve Seddon is likely to continue at left-back, with the defender possessing attacking drive and defensive competence.
Herbie Kane and Cameron Brannagan may take holding positions, with the pair both possessing the technical ability and vision to progress the play, whilst they both have the tenacity and intelligence to help their defence out.
James Henry could operate on the right of an attacking three behind the striker, with Gavin Whyte likely to be deployed on the left.
Marcus McGuane has missed a lot of football already this season, and he is seemingly being brought back into the side rather gradually, however, he might be tasked with playing from the very start tomorrow evening, in an advanced midfield role.
In the absence of Matty Taylor, Billy Bodin could be introduced from the very start against Fleetwood, whilst Dan Agyei is also an option that Robinson will be considering.
Also available are Nathan Holland, Joel Cooper and Agyei, all of which will be hoping for a first-team opportunity.