Oxford v Chesterfield preview

Team news for Saturday's League Two clash between Oxford United and Chesterfield at the Kassam Stadium.

Last Updated: 15/03/13 at 11:21

Jon-Paul Pittman: Boost for U's

Jon-Paul Pittman: Boost for U's

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Oxford striker Jon-Paul Pittman could make a welcome return to action.

The former Crawley and Wycombe forward has been missing since December after dislocating a shoulder and, having worked hard to return to full fitness, he has trained every day this week with no adverse reaction.

"He has done really well," assistant manager Mickey Lewis told the club's official website. "He looks strong and is up to just about full speed in training, so he is very much in our thoughts for the run-in."

Liam Davis and Deane Smalley both stepped off the bench in the 1-0 victory over Barnet in midweek and they are pushing for starts as Oxford look for their fourth win in five games.

The U's remain without long-term injury victims goalkeeper Ryan Clarke (shoulder), striker Justin Richards (knee) and midfielder Peter Leven (knee).

Drew Talbot comes back into the reckoning for Chesterfield.

Talbot missed the 2-0 home win over Bristol Rovers last Saturday with a virus.

The 26-year-old could be considered for a spot at full-back or on the wing, meaning Richard Brindley and Conor Townsend are the players most under threat in the starting line-up.

Tendayi Darikwa continued his return to fitness following a double hernia operation with a run-out for the reserves this week and the winger is also back in contention for a starting role.

Oxford include three former Spireites among their ranks in Deane Smalley, Andy Whing and Peter Leven, although the latter is out with a knee injury.

Chesterfield really need to win to keep their fading play-off hopes alive.

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