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Match Previews

Match Preview: Oxford United

Bees in FA Cup Third Round action this week

4 January 2019

The Bees get their 2018/19 Emirates FA Cup campaign underway at home to Oxford United in the Third Round on Saturday afternoon. Unbeaten in four, Thomas Frank's side are hoping to get past The U's who currently sit 28 places below them in League One.

The Opposition

Finishing in the bottom half of the table last term didn't enamour Oxford to the bookies this time around, and indeed so far they are holding steady in 22nd. United have lost their last three in the league without scoring a goal; Southend, Bristol Rovers and Plymouth all victorious over the festive period.

The summer saw the changes ring out at the Kassam Stadium. Jamie Mackie arrived from Queens Park Rangers, alongside new boys Matthew Taylor (Derby) and Tony McMahon (Bradford City). Sam Carruthers signed on loan from Sheffield United, Luke Garbutt also joined on loan from Everton in July.

Heading out the exit, Joe Rothwell went to Blackburn Rovers while former Newcastle defender Mike Williamson went to Gateshead. Canice Carroll was also transferred to The Bees in August, who has now joined Swindon Town on loa

Team News

Thomas Frank gave us an update on The Bees in his press conference this week. Chris Mepham has been pushing for a return to full fitness this month. Marcus Forss returned to First Team training recently but the FA Cup match will be too soon for a return. Emiliano Marcondes is definitely out, with Lewis Macleod also sidelined.

Oxford's new signings Mark Sykes and Jordan Graham could both feature at Griffin Park, while the team are without the suspended Cameron Brannagan. The midfielder picked up the suspension against Plymouth in the last round. Today, Oxford announced that youngsters Armani Little and Harvey Bradbury joined Woking on loan.

The Manager

Karl Robinson has been in charge of The U's for nine months, having taken over from caretaker boss Derek Fazackerley. The former Blackburn Rovers defender had been put in temporary charge after the sacking of Pep Clotet a few months earlier. 

Robinson knows the lower divisions of the EFL well and has also managed Charlton Athletic and MK Dons in previous years. He won promotion with the Dons from League One in 2015, earning Manager of the Month twice that season. After six years at Stadium MK, the now 38-year-old moved to Charlton for a two-year stint at The Valley.

A player from non-league football and a former striker, Robinson had a short career as a player before moving into coaching first at Liverpool's academy and then with Blackburn. 

Last Time Out

The Bees last cup meeting with Oxford ended in disaster as a young Brentford side were hammered 4-0 by Michael Appleton's United. Liam Sercombe, Danny Hylton, Kemar Roofe and John Mullins were all on the scoresheet for the away side back in August 2015.

Pre-Match Features

Hot Off The Press: The Oxford Mail's Dave Pritchard looks at Saturday's opponents from a different point of view

Press Conference: Thomas Frank looking forward to FA Cup encounter

Ref Watch: Jeremy Simpson in charge of weekend fixture

Matchday Coverage

Mark Burridge, Greville Waterman and Mick Cabble are on the Griffin Park gantry bringing you live commentary on Brentford's first FA Cup game of the 2018/19 season. Listen live from 2.30pm for updates, analysis and more.

Download the Official Brentford FC App to get notifications direct to your phone, plus all the latest news, views and reaction from the game. Visit the Play Store or iTunes App Store now to download. 

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