JPT southern section final preview: Oxford vs. Millwall

© Millwall FC
© Millwall FC

NEIL Harris has to decide whether or not to make any changes for the first time in four games as Millwall attempt to recover a two-goal deficit at The Kassam Stadium.

Carlos Edwards is back in training following a hamstring injury but won't be considered, with Tony Craig the only other absentee.

Harris has the option of restoring Joe Martin to left-back if he feels he needs a more defensive focus, while Ed Upson and Ben Thompson are putting pressure on the central midfield spots.

Millwall must win by three goals to progress or come through a penalty shootout if they win on the night by two, but it won’t be easy against Oxford, who strengthened their squad before the transfer window closed on Monday night.

Michael Appleton signed Chris Maguire, who played in the first leg, after he was released by Rotherham, and the former Blackburn Rovers boss also brought in attacking midfielder Zeli Ismail from Wolves on a one-month loan.

Right-back George Baldock, who was so impressive at The Den in the first leg, has returned to MK Dons after his loan spell. Oxford recruited Everton’s 18-year-old defender Johnjoe Kenny as his replacement for an initial 28 days.

It has been a busy month in the transfer market for the League Two side, who could also include striker Jordan Bowery in their starting XI after he was let go by Rotherham.

Appleton admitted he feels he has unfinished business with Millwall after the Lions knocked his Blackburn side out of the FA Cup at the last-eight stage in 2013.

He told Oxford’s official website: “That was tough to take. We beat Arsenal 1-0 and got to play Millwall in the quarter-final, with the FA Cup semi-final at Wembley in the next round. Missing out on that semi-final was tough to take.

“Hopefully someone is looking down on us and gives me the opportunity to put that right and give all the players and the fans a day out.”

Form guide (Last five fixtures):

Oxford: WWLWL

Millwall: WLWWD

Sky Bet odds:

Oxford 7/5  Draw 12/5  Millwall 19/10

Probable Millwall team:

4-4-2: Archer; Cummings, Webster, Beevers, Ferguson; Wallace, Abdou, Williams, O’Brien; Morison, Gregory.

Last meeting:

Johnstone’s Paint Trophy area final 1st leg, January 14 2016

Millwall 0

Oxford 2

Roofe 15 & 43

Millwall: Forde; Cummings, Webster, Beevers, J Martin (O'Brien, 64); Wallace, Abdou, Williams (Upson, 78), Ferguson; Gregory (Onyedinma, 85), Morison.

Oxford: Buchel; Baldock, Mullins, Wright, Evans; MacDonald, Lundstram, Sercombe, Maguire; Roofe (Hylton, 87), Hoban (O'Dowda, 77).

John Kelly