Michael Appleton is waiting on the fitness of two centre backs as he prepares to pick his first competitive line-up as Oxford United’s head coach.
Johnny Mullins (dead leg) and Jake Wright (ankle) have been nursing minor problems picked up in the 1-0 defeat to Wolves in pre-season.
Aside from long-term absentees goalkeeper Ryan Clarke and midfielder Andy Whing, the defenders are the only players struggling to make the opening game against Burton Albion.
He said: “If they’re both back then happy days, we’ll go into the campaign with a clean bill of health, with the exception of Whingy and Clarkey.
“I’m certainly not expecting both of them to be fit, if they are it would be a big bonus, but if we can get one of them fit I’d be delighted.”
Even if the pair are fit, Michael Raynes is pushing for a start in the heart of defence after a strong pre-season.
In addition to a host of signings in line to make their competitive bows today, another debutant looks set to be Jon Meades.
The midfielder signed more than a year ago, but was unavailable for the whole of last season after sustaining a serious ankle injury.
Burton, who have reached the play-offs for the past two seasons, will be without Damien McCrory, Jimmy Phillips and Lee Bell, who all have knee injuries.
Oxford Utd: from G Long, Riley, Raynes, Wright, Newey, Collins, Meades, Potter, Brown, Hylton, Morris, Roberts, O’Dowda, Rose, Shama, Ruffels, Ashby, Hunt, S Long, Mullins, Crocombe.
Burton: from McLaughlin, Edwards, Sharps, Cansdell-Sherriff, Taft, Akins, Weir, Mousinho, MacDonald, McGurk, Beavon, Kee, Harness, Palmer, Lyness, Knowles, McFadzean, Slade, Doyle.
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Latest United news:
9:30am Monday 31st August 2015
DANNY Hylton is revelling in the buzz around Oxford United after the forward’s flying start to the season continued with a starring role in the 2-0 win against Yeovil Town.
8:30am Monday 31st August 2015
DANNY Rose felt Oxford United’s energetic performance against Yeovil Town showed resting players in midweek was the right decision by head coach Michael Appleton.
7:30am Monday 31st August 2015
MICHAEL Appleton saluted Oxford United’s supporters for the role they have played in the side’s promising start.
12:00pm Sunday 30th August 2015
WATCH the main moments from Oxford United's stylish 2-0 win against Yeovil Town at the Kassam Stadium.
6:10pm Saturday 29th August 2015
AN excellent all-round performance saw Oxford United sweep Yeovil Town aside and move into Sky Bet League Two's top five.