FORMER Leeds United and Chelsea centre-back Michael Duberry is in line for a return to Oxford United’s starting line-up for tomorrow’s home clash against York City.
Duberry, now 37, has not played since suffering a hamstring injury at the end of January but could replace Michael Raynes in the centre of the U’s defence after returning to training this week.
But goalkeeper Ryan Clarke (shoulder), midfielder Peter Leven (knee) and strikers Jon-Paul Pittman (shoulder) and Justin Richards (knee) will not feature.
On-loan Burton striker Richards is expected to be sidelined for the rest of the season with cruciate ligament damage, having only made four League appearances since his switch from the Pirelli Stadium.
With Richards crocked, James Constable and Tom Craddock will continue in attack, having played together for only the second time this year during Saturday’s 1-0 win at Plymouth due to a mixture of injury and suspension.
Craddock has got 12 goals this term with Constable netting 11 and the latter’s match-winning effort in Devon saw him move up to third in Oxford’s all-time goalscorers’ list.
His 91st goal for the club meant he climbed above U’s legend John Aldridge in those standings with top two Graham Atkinson (107) and Tony Jones (100) now fully in his sights.
Winger Alfie Potter, meanwhile, is expected to earn a recall after missing the Plymouth game due to illness with Antigua and Barbuda international Josh Parker, who made his full debut for the visitors at Home Park, poised to make way.
Tony Capaldi was also suffering from the same virus last weekend when manager Chris Wilder could only name six substitutes, but he too is likely to have made a full recovery.
Oxford, who are 13th in the League Two standings, are hoping to avoid a hat-trick of consecutive home losses for the first time since January 2006.
The U’s have suffered back-to-back defeats at the Kassam Stadium, going down to Fleetwood (2-1) and Bristol Rovers (2-0).
Prior to those results, Wilder’s men also drew 1-1 with Burton in front of their own fans and were knocked out of the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy on penalties by Southend and the FA Cup following a 3-0 reverse against Sheffield United, meaning those five matches without a home win have seen the team concede 11 goals and score just five.
Oxford (probable); McCormick, Batt, Duberry, Wright, Davis, Potter, Chapman, Montrose, Rigg, Constable, Craddock.
CITY have made 12 Football League visits – in the old Second, Third and Fourth Divisions – to Oxford (1963-2004) winning three times and drawing three.
The successes were in 1962/63,1976/77 and 1994/95 all by the same 2-0 scoreline. Their heaviest defeat at this venue was 4-1 in 1965/66.
The last League trip was on March 3, 2004 when the Division Three (League Two) fixture ended goal-less.
In four Conference visits to the Kassam Stadium, City drew 1-1 in 2007/8 but lost on the three other occasions.
The clubs last met at Oxford on the opening day of the 2009/10 season when the home side won 2-1. Richard Brodie was the scorer and the line-up on August 8, 2009, was: Ingham, Purkiss, McGurk, Parslow, Meredith, Lawless (Smith), Mackin, Barrett, Ferrell (Nelthorpe), Brodie, Rankine (Gash).
Making their debuts that day were James Meredith, Alex Lawless, Neil Barrett, Andy Ferrell, Michael Rankine and Michael Gash.
On the final day of that campaign, United beat City 3-1 in the promotion play-off final at Wembley.
Players to have appeared for both clubs include David Rush, Phil Whitehead, John Byrne, Craig Farrell and Ben Purkiss. Denis Smith, Viv Busby and Malcolm Crosby are the managerial links.
It happened on February 23
1929: An 8-2 Midland League win over Worksop Town at Fulfordgate with Jimmy Cowie scoring six goals and Tommy Fenoughty the other two.
1935: City beat Crewe Alexandra 7-3 at Bootham Crescent in Division Three North watched by 3,023. On target were Cliff Johnson (2), Maurice Dando (2), Ted Hathway (2) and Jack Eyres.
1957: Billy Fenton scored the only goal in a 1-0 home win over Barrow and the crowd for this Northern Section game was 8,004.
1991: A 2-0 home victory over Carlisle United at Bootham Crescent in the Fourth with Glenn Naylor and Iain Dunn on target watched by 2,002.
2008: Daniel Parslow hit the winner in a 1-0 success at Rushden & Diamonds in the fourth round of the FA Trophy.
Compiled by David Batters