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Match Previews

Oxford United Preview

5 August 2016

The summer and its pre-season have flown past, now the new-look Spireites are ready and set to get their 2016/17 Sky Bet League 1 season started.

First up for Chesterfield are the buoyed boys from Oxford United, back in the third tier after manager Michael Appleton guided the club to League Two promotion last season.

Tickets

The Proact ticket office sold-out its initial allocation of just over 500 tickets this week, but Spireites fans are able to buy tickets on the day at the Kassam Stadium.

For further details and ticket prices, click here.

Team News

The Spireites are a couple of defenders short for the trip. Sam Hird misses through the one-match suspension he picked up in the 2015/16 season finale at Bradford City, while left-back Dan Jones is absent through injury.

Tommy Lee, Liam O'Neil and Angel Martinez come into the campaign with longer-term injuries, with the rest of the squad fit and raring to go, travelling south for the game on Friday afternoon.

The U's on the other hand have no absentees and a full-strength squad to select from. There had been worries earlier in the week, but Chris Maguire, Chey Dunkley and Benji Buchel were all expected to be back in training on Friday and ready for selection.

Form Guide

Danny Wilson has kept together the core members of his squad for the 2016/17 campaign, and has made seven signings as he attempts to build a younger, pacier Spireites side.

Ched Evans' signature has already looked one capable of being repaid in goals, with the former Manchester City and Sheffield United man scoring twice during pre-season.

Highly-rated 'keeper Ryan Fulton arrives from Liverpool on loan to plug the gap between the sticks left by the shoulder injury to Tommy Lee, while former non-league pair midfielder Jon Nolan and striker Kristian Dennis have earned their chances in the EFL and will look to grab them.

Oxford have lost a host of players, including some key performers, over the summer, and have made it into double figures in replacing them.

Notable departees include Kemar Roofe (Leeds United), former Spireite Jordan Bowery (Leyton Orient) and Callum O'Dowda (Bristol City), while experienced campaigners like Aaron Martin, Wes Thomas and Curtis Nelson are looked at to redress the balance as the U's attempt to keep their upwards momentum going into League One for the new season.

From the Dugout

Speaking at the club's media day on Thursday, manager Wilson isn't expecting anything straight forward at the Kassam Stadium but is quietly optimistic for a strong performance.

"We're always confident," he commented. "We just don't want to get over-confident. We're very realistic in our approach, we know what's going to be in front of us and we know it's going to be tough.

"They'll have the same aspirations at the start of the season as we have. They're at home, they'll have an expectant crowd who will want the momentum to carry on from the end of last season."

Assessing his amended Spireites squad, Wilson explained that he can see key areas where his side will be able to use their attacking force.

"I've got a sneaky feeling looking at the group of lads that we've got that we'll cause problems to any team this season - and Oxford will be one of them," he said.

"There will be parts of the games when it's going to belong to us and it's about making the most of those times.

"Within the team at this moment in time we've got a great belief, it's very quiet and under the radar but I love that side of things. 

"It's what goes on on that green stuff out there that's the main thing and I think we can compete with most teams."

As always, PlayerHD will be the only place online to hear live commentary of every Chesterfield game this season (more info on that here), while we'll also have live Twitter, Facebook and Instagram coverage direct from Oxfordshire on Saturday.

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