Oxford United

Oxford United vs Portsmouth

, KO: 17:00 Jul 6, 2020, Kassam Stadium

NOTHING continues to separate Oxford United and Portsmouth as they head into the second leg of their League One play-off semi-final with a place at Wembley within reach.

These sides finished level on points when League One was called early after grinding out stalemates in their two previous showdowns this season.

And there was nothing between them again in the first leg, with Ronan Curtis' opener for Pompey cancelled out by a long-range strike from Marcus Browne.

Oxford arguably have a minor edge with the second leg at their Kassam Stadium but even that won't count for much given the match will be played behind closed doors.

So this one could go all the way to penalties, just like their Football League trophy tie last October which Portsmouth edged 5-4 in the shootout.

How the bookies view it

Away goals don't count in the EFL play-offs so if it's another stalemate we are going to extra time, which is priced 11/2 at Bet365. The odds on it going all the way to spot-kicks are even better at 5/1 with the same firm which could be worth a punt.

If you fancy either side to edge it in normal time, Oxford United are a best 8/5 with 888Sport while Portsmouth are 2/1 with Bet365.

Recent head to head

The last three meetings have ended in draws, including that tense first leg at Fratton Park (below). But Oxford have a decent home record against Pompey, going unbeaten in four with two of those games ending in victories.

Portsmouth's last victory in Oxford was a 1-0 triumph six years ago when both these teams were stuck in League Two.

Players to watch

Ellis Harrison got the nod ahead of John Marquis up front for Portsmouth in the first leg and should keep his place for this one. The Welshman is 3/1 with Paddy Power to grab his 11th of the season and that looks decent value.

I flagged James Henry up as Oxford's biggest threat in the first leg only for the forward to draw a blank. But I will stick with him here as he's priced a tempting 16/5 by Paddy Power for anytime scorer.

Team News

Oxford had been sweating on the fitness of Browne, Cameron Brannagan and Matty Taylor but boss Karl Robinson is confident all three will make it.

Portsmouth have no fresh injury worries, although Bryn Morris may not last the whole 90 minutes after making his first appearance of the season in the first leg after a long injury lay-off. 

Anything else catch the eye?

My tip of a goal not being scored in each half came up in the first leg, although both strikes came in the first period instead of the second as I had been expecting. I can see this one being cagey again so the bet could be worth revisiting at 8/11 with 888Sport.

I'd be surprised if we were treated to a lot of goals but under 2.5 goals is sadly a best 3/5 with Bet365 which isn't much use unless it's part of a bet builder or acca.

This match between Oxford United and Portsmouth will be played on Jul 6, 2020 and kick off at 17:00. Check below for our tipsters best Oxford United vs Portsmouth prediction. You may also visit our dedicated betting previews section for the most up to date previews.

Oxford United vs Portsmouth Betting Tips & Predictions
Penalty shoot-out
James Henry anytime scorer
Goal in each half - no

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