It’s been an exceptionally promising start to the Premier League season for Crystal Palace, who recently showed their mental fortitude to bounce back from a goal down to Aston Villa and claim three points, but Patrick Vieira’s focus shifts to the EFL Cup, a competition that eluded his grasp during his playing days for Arsenal.
Question marks dominated the early summer narrative for the Eagles after last season’s ‘Player of the Year’ Conor Gallagher returned to Chelsea following his highly-fruitful loan spell, but his successor, Cheick Doucoure, has settled in seamlessly and played a big part in the club’s draw with Liverpool and recent Villa triumph.
Oxford United have fond memories of this competitions against Premier League opposition, battering West Ham 4-0 in September 2019, and Karl Robinson — who was at the helm at the time of that major scalp claim — will be hoping to send another London heavyweight back to the capital with their tail between their legs.
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Oxford United vs Crystal Palace match stats
For all of Palace’s impressive early-season form, Vieira’s men have struggled on the corner front, despite boasting two of the Premier League most electric wingers who exploit the final third flanks, in Wilfried Zaha and Eberechi Eze. Incredibly, only Manchester United and Liverpool (both eight) have registered fewer corners than Palace (nine) this campaign, and those two, of course, battle it out on Monday night were (almost certainly) the Eagles will conclude matchday three having taken the least number of corners in the competition so far.
In terms of potential game-changers, Jean-Philippe Mateta came off the bench to put the seal on Palace’s 3-1 win over Aston Villa at the weekend. Not a consistent starter, Vieira may view Tuesday’s journey to the Kassam Stadium as the perfect opportunity to hand Mateta a starting berth, and the French forward will no doubt be champing at the bit to follow on from Saturday’s superb first-time strike against Villa with another prolific final-third performance in midweek, just to give his manager something to think about ahead of the weekend’s ominous journey to Manchester City.
Oxford United vs Crystal Palace: Squawka Says
Scoreline prediction: Oxford United 0-1 Crystal Palace
26 Dec 1998 – Oxford United 1-3 Crystal Palace – League Division 1
22 Aug 1998 – Crystal Palace 2-0 Oxford United – League Division 1
01 Mar 1997 – Oxford United 1-4 Crystal Palace – League Division 1
07 Dec 1996 – Crystal Palace 2-2 Oxford United – League Division 1
02 Apr 1994 – Crystal Palace 2-1 Oxford United – League Division 1
Incredibly, this will be the first time that these two clubs have met in the 21st century. Back in 1998/99 Terry Venables oversaw two triumphs over Oxford before the turn of the year, winning 2-0 on home soil thanks to goals from Bruce Dyer and Attilio Lombardo, before winning 3-1 away from south London, with a certain Clinton Morrison getting his first professional away goal.