Port Vale v Oxford preview

Date published: Monday 24th August 2015 1:24

Port Vale v Oxford preview

Clayton McDonald could return to Vale’s starting line-up.
The defender proved his fitness after a hamstring injury with a late appearance as a substitute during the 5-0 defeat by champions Swindon last weekend.
Goalkeeper Stuart Tomlinson may return from illness to challenge Chris Martin for the gloves.
Forward Lewis Haldane has had a run-out for the reserves following his recovery from a broken leg but will not be involved as he bids to get fit for next season.
Captain Marc Richards and midfielder Anthony Griffith, who will be out of contract in the summer and are thought to have attracted interest from rival clubs, are set to keep their places in the side.
Meanwhile, play-off chasing Oxford will hand a debut to on-loan goalkeeper Damian Martinez in their massive trip to Vale.
Martinez arrived on an emergency deal from Arsenal on Friday following the return of England Under-19 keeper Connor Ripley to parent club Middlesbrough.
Ripley endured a nightmare debut in last weekend’s 2-0 home defeat to Southend – just hours after arriving at the Kassam Stadium – and was released by the club earlier in the week.
Ripley was summoned by the U’s after Wayne Brown joined Ryan Clarke (rib) in the treatment room having suffered a serious knee injury in training last Friday.
Elsewhere, Oxford will assess a couple of players as late as possible, including striker James Constable (thigh), as they head to Vale Park knowing they must win and Crewe must lose at home to Aldershot in order to clinch seventh spot.

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