BIG GAME PREVIEW: News and views ahead of Chesterfield’s trip to Oxford United

Chesterfield football Club Web Tile
Chesterfield football Club Web Tile
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Chesterfield make the trip to newly promoted Oxford United on Saturday to face a U’s side full of optimism.

They’ve added a number of new faces to the side who finished second in League Two last season.

And Oxford, unlike the Spireites, can boast of a pretty much fully fit squad.

Here’s all the team news and views ahead of the League One season opener at the Kassam Stadium.

CHESTERFIELD

Danny Wilson: They’re going to come in full of confidence after last season, they got to the final of the JPT final which will have added to their confidence.

“They’ve added one or two players to the squad, they’re playing at home in front of an expectant crowd and they’ll have ambitions like they did last year.

“It will be tough and we’ve got to manage that, but we’re a bit of an unknown entity at the minute and we might just catch a few people by surprise at the start of the season.

“We’ve seen what we can do in certain aspects of play and we’ll be a threat.”

Likely line-up: Ryan Fulton, Paul McGinn, Dion Donohue, Ian Evatt, Charlie Raglan; Gboly Ariyibi, Reece Mitchell, Gary Liddle, Connor Dimaio; Jay O’Shea, Ched Evans.

Long term injuries: Angel Martinez (midfielder, knee), Liam O’Neil (midfielder, ankle), Tommy Lee (goalkeeper, shoulder).

Question marks: Dan Jones (left-back, ankle) and Jon Nolan (midfield, match fitness).

Suspended: Sam Hird.

New faces: Ryan Fulton (on loan from Liverpool), Reece Mitchell (signed from Chelsea), Ched Evans (free agent), Jon Nolan (Grimsby), Kristian Dennis (Stockport County).

OXFORD UNITED

Joe Skarz: “It’ll be a tough game. They are a good team with a lot of good players.

“Danny Wilson’s sides normally like to play attacking football, so I’d imagine it will be an entertaining game.

“They have people like Ched Evans up front and other attacking players who will be a threat.

“We’ll just try to stamp our authority on the game and get control of it early, but we know it will be difficult.”

Christian Ribeiro: “Everyone goes into the season with a lot of optimism, so the first game is often very tight and fiery.

“It’s going to be a very tight contest, we’ve just got to make sure we match their intensity and try to improve on that with our hard work and athleticism.

“We don’t try and worry too much about Chesterfield, if we do the things properly that we know we can, we’ll give ourselves a great chance.

“We’ve just got to make sure we out-work the opposition.

“If we do that we’ll have our heads held high and hopefully get what we deserve.”

Likely line-up: Simon Eastwood; Christian Ribeiro, Chey Dunkley, Curtis Nelson, Joe Skarz; Alex MacDonald, John Lundstram, Liam Sercombe, Chris Maguire; Wes Thomas, Ryan Taylor.

Long term injuries: Rob Hall (knee).

Question mark: Benji Buchel (goalkeeper, thigh).

New faces: Simon Eastwood (Blackburn Rov), Christian Ribeiro (Exeter), Curtis Nelson (Plymouth), Aaron Martin (Coventry), Joe Rothwell (Man Utd), Dan Crowley (Loan, Arsenal), Tyler Roberts (loan, West Brom), Rob Hall (Bolton), Wes Thomas (Birmingham), Kane Hemmings (Dundee)