OXFORD United plan to strike a balance between naming a strong side and giving fringe players game time when they host Brighton & Hove Albion Under 21s.

After beating Stevenage 6-2 in the opening Group G game in the Checkatrade Trophy, another win tonight would virtually guarantee United’s progress to the knockout rounds with a game to spare.

Gino van Kessel is available after delaying his trip with the Curacao national side.

But Canice Carroll is away on international duty with Ireland Under 19s and Rob Hall (groin) is out injured.

Derek Fazackerley, United's assistant head coach, said: “It leaves us a little short in wide areas, so we’ll be looking at different things in terms of the set-up of the team, not only personnel but also formation.

“There are one or two players in the squad who need a game, but also it’s a competition that we have taken very seriously over the last couple of years and certainly we’ll be doing again, because it’s been kind to us.”

He added: "There’s Xemi and also people like (Josh) Ashby who has been out for a good while now with his knee.

"He’s now fit and ready so he will get an opportunity, maybe on the bench.

"There are one or two others who have been short of football recently.

"We’ll look at the options and try to pick a side that we think is going to be capable of getting a good result."


Oxford Utd: from Eastwood, Ribeiro, Martin, Williamson, Ricardinho, Henry, Xemi, Ruffels, Rothwell, Mowatt, Mehmeti, Thomas, Roberts, Van Kessel, Payne, Baptiste, Ashby, Nelson, Mousinho, Ledson, Shearer.

Brighton & HA U21: from Kerr, Cox, D Hutchinson, Sanders, Mandriou, Connolly, Tilley, Sanchez, Moore, Collar, O’Sullivan, Shihab, Cashman, I Hutchinson, Morrison, Ajiboye, Cochrane, Collings.