Oxford look to humble Hornets in EFL Cup
Oxford United host Watford in the second round of the EFL Cup of Tuesday night. The U’s won this competition back in 1986 and have taken some big scalps in recent years. Can they take the sting out of the Hornets? Have a read of our preview here:
Finally doing things right
Karl Robinson signed a new four-year deal earlier this week to commit his future to the Yellows. Managers often don’t get time to build but Oxford have given their manager a commodity all too rare in the modern game.
Under his stewardship, Oxford have built an identity - playing slick, passing football while signing young talent with a decent sell-on value.
His new contract feels right and proves the club is doing things in a way that should be an example to others.
As for the game, Watford are a team full of big names and quality yet Oxford have beaten the likes of Swansea, Newcastle and gone toe-to-toe with Manchester City in recent seasons.
They have Matty Taylor back to score the goals after making his loan from Bristol City permanent. Marcus McGuane comes into midfield on loan from Nottingham Forest and Rob Atkinson will get his chance following the sale of Rob Dickie to QPR.
This should be a cracking cup tie, let’s hope it doesn’t disappoint.
Watford looking to bounce straight back
The latest man to be conveyor-belted into the manager’s dugout at Vicarage Road is Vladimir Ivic. He becomes their 284,127th* head coach since 2018 (*may be an exaggeration) as the Pozzo family continue their pattern of ‘in with the new, out with the only slightly less new’.
It is a strange way to run a club and their relegation from the Premier League does not come as a surprise.
The squad they come down with, however, is full of talent and should be able to make a decent fist of going straight back up even if Ivic only gets the 5-game average of most Hornet’s managers.
Gerard Deulofeu is still at the club as are both Troy Deeney and Roberto Pereyra. They have even drafted in Glenn Murray on loan from Brighton making their attack look pretty formidable.
Whether they can impress or not remains to be seen, but this tipster is hoping they don’t find their form just yet.
Oxford v Watford betting tip
Oxford have a good record in this competition, even against some of the better sides, so Watford shouldn’t take them lightly. Equally, the Hornets have some high-end talent as we back both teams to score at odds of 1.8 with bet365 in this one.