Season Preview: From MK Dons to Portsmouth

Oxford United

Av Attendance 2019/20: 7636

Manager: Karl Robinson

Preferred Formation 2019/20: 4-1-4-1

Last game v City: Oxford 1-0 Imps – 26th December 2019

Summer Ins: Joel Cooper – Linfield, Matty Taylor – Bristol City, Sean Clare – Hearts, Marcus McGuane – Nottm Forest (loan), Dylan Asonganyi – MK Dons, Liam Kelly – Feyenoord (loan), Derick Osei Yaw

Summer Outs: Jamie Mackie – Retired, Rob Dickie – QPR

When talking about the favourites for the division, you have to mention the U’s. They were on a roll going into the play-offs and I think if fans had been in stadiums, they might have done a little better. I had a theory that direct sides, spoilers if you like, did better without the pressure of a crowd. Footballing sides, such as The U’s, do better with motivation and noise. Once fans do start returning, I think we’ll find Oxford right in the mix for a Championship spot.

Much of their team from last season has remained together and their business has been strong. Liam Kelly is a great capture, he should be one of the top midfielders at this level, whilst Sean Clare will impress on his return to England. Matty Taylor is a goalscorer, as we know all too well, and much of their squad from last season has remained together.

Losing Rob Dickie is a blow though and I think playing them early, rather than when all their business has been done, is a bonus for us. If Karl Robinson hasn’t got them in the to four by May, I’ll be very shocked indeed.

 


Peterborough United

Courtesy Graham Burrell

Av Attendance 2019/20: 7371

Manager: Darren Ferguson

Preferred Formation 2019/20: 3-4-1-2

Last game v City: Imps 2-1 Peterborough – 1st Jan 2020

Summer Ins: Ronnie Edwards – Barnet, Daniel Gyollai – Wigan, Ethan Hamilton – Manchester United, Reece Brown – Huddersfield, Ryan Broom – Cheltenham, Jonson Clarke-Harris – Bristol Rovers, Sammie Szmodics – Bristol City

Summer Outs: Ivan Toney – Brentford, George Cooper – Plymouth, Aaron Chapman, Conor O’Malley, Rhys Bennett, Alex Woodyard, Callum Cooke, Marcus Maddison (All released)

Dare I shout them as champions-elect? You’ll find out when I do my rundown of positions going into the weekend, but there’s little doubt Posh will be in the mix. Just look at their business; Ethan Hamilton is a great signing, whilst Ryan Broom is a huge talent too. Sammy Szmodics is a top player for this level as well, as is Reece Brown. They’re back on method when it comes to the capture of Broom, he’s one that could make them a fortune, whilst Szmodics is a player who has a point to prove. They’re stronger, in my opinion than last season.

I do have a question mark over Clarke-Harris, he scored a few goals but he’s no Ivan Toney. However, I expect Mo Eisa to thrive now and he could be the surprise impact player for them. It’s not a huge surprise though, not at £1m or whatever he cost last time, but Posh earn the money they spend. I know we see them as rivals, but their player development method should be the envy of any club at this level. I guess the big question is; can they turn that into promotion, one their talented squad deserves?