Oxford League Cup R1 preview – @theValley6.8.13#cafc

Tomorrow night sees the visit of Oxford United in the League Cup first round

Coincidentally, Oxford also have an active supporters' trust who were the first club to achieve ACV status for their ground - which was separately owned from the football club.

Disappointing crowds have often accompanied these ocassions along with arguably weaker sides forced by requirements of the League campaign, the £10 ticket price would hopefully offset some of the summer holiday crowd, but weather permitting what an opportunity to see some of Chris' new boys and some of our academy stars and fringe players compliment the first team squad.

Despite all of that this game could be a great chance to show CP the support he deserves.

Our regular preview and report follows below:

Following a disappointing start to the 2013/14 campaign down at the seaside, the Valley will get it’s first taste of competitive action this season when Oxford come down to SE7 for the first round of the Capital One Cup. With a cup run overdue, opposition from two leagues below could be the perfect springboard to reverse the Addicks’ knock-out football fortunes.

Unlike the Addicks, Tuesday night’s opposition have history where the League Cup is concerned. The Milk Cup (as it was known in 1986, six years before this writer was born!) was claimed by the Yellows in a 3-0 victory over Queens Park Rangers. Goalscorers on that day included Irish hero Ray Houghton.

Fast forward to 2013 and Oxford United are not nearly as formidable as they ply their trade in League Two following a fairly recent stint in non-league football. However that should be no reason to underestimate the Us. They despatched a buoyant Pompey side four goals to one at the weekend, whilst on their own opening day trip to the south coast.

A strong and surprisingly impressive fourth tier outfit are expected to rock up at the Valley in the week and will be far from pushovers.

Stand out players for the opposition could include the former Addicks target Jake Wright at centre back with experienced striker James Constable leading the Yellows’ line since 2008. If rumours are to be believed, number 11 Alfie Potter was also scouted extensively by Charlton during the course of last season.

For opening round cup games such as this, it’s often harder to predict the line-up rather than the final score! I imagine Powell might plump for a blend of youth and experience. Players such as Joe Pigott, Jordan Cousins and Nick Pope might feel as though they have a good chance of a starting place while Ade Azeez, Kevin Feely and Morgan Fox might pop up on the bench. A well-earned rest for Yann Kermorgant appears likely, while Johnnie Jackson is unlikely to be rushed into the fold ahead of Saturday’s league game against Middlesbrough. Elsewhere, expect Chris Solly, Michael Morrison, Callum Harriott and one of Andy Hughes and Mark Gower to retain their starting places. The rest could be as good as a lottery.

Elsewhere, games to keep an eye on are Preston vs. Blackpool on Monday night while Pompey travel to Bournemouth on Tuesday. Michael Smith will be hoping to make an impression down at the Den after a bright debut performance with his adopted AFC Wimbledon.

Cup games are difficult to predict and given our history, there is every chance of an upset here. I do think Charlton will prevail in extra time however, after an early Oxford scare.