Oxford have looked rather solid on the road of late but we're not convinced it has been the toughest run of games for Chris Wilder's men and you can get tasty odds of 19/10 about them being turned over at Bristol Rovers on Saturday.
The U's are unbeaten in five away from the Kassam, conceding only once in that sequence, and though a goalless draw at Torquay on New Year's Eve warrants respect, trips either side to Morecambe, Wimbledon, Aldershot and Burton have all been rather timely.
A game against the Gas right now is anything but convenient and the visitors could be in for a shock if they're using October's 3-0 win over Rovers as any kind of yardstick of what to expect at the Memorial Stadium.
The Pirates were managed by Paul Buckle back then and his tenure turned out to be a miserable one with his inevitable departure coming at the turn of the year amid growing speculation that the dressing room had turned against him.
Now Mark McGhee is the man in charge and he's brought a sense of quiet assurance that the players are clearly responding to. All of McGhee's first three matches ended in triumph and though the momentum was halted by Tuesday's late defeat at Shrewsbury, we don't see that isolated setback as the end of the honeymoon.
In terms of personnel, the Gas are on a par with at least half of the 14 teams currently above them in the table and a late push for the play-offs shouldn't be ruled out. This game ought to be a handy barometer when assessing their chances of making up the ten-point gap because it's Oxford who currently occupy seventh spot.
Taking everything into consideration at the present time, we'd probably make Wilder's men slight favourites if the game were to be played on a neutral ground but these prices don't make enough allowance for home advantage and that could be substantial now that the mood has picked up in the stands.
2pts Bristol Rovers to beat Oxford at 19/10 (Victor Chandler)Reuse content