PEOPLE from all walks of life are hoping Oxford United can perform with the world watching tonight.

The visit of Premier League champions Manchester City is being broadcast live in 54 countries, while 12,000 fans will squeeze into the Kassam Stadium for the Carabao Cup third round tie.

It is an opportunity for the club to show itself in the best possible light - and maybe cause an upset that would go down in U's folklore.

But for some, tonight's game is about more than a place in the fourth round and United's commercial director Matt Everett wants the club to cash in on the increased exposure.

He said: "It gives us a huge opportunity to put Oxford United on the map nationally and internationally.

"First and foremost we want a loyal fan base of season ticket holders and obviously we would love everyone in the county to be a United fan.

"But that's not always realistic so we also want to become a viable second club for fans of Premier League teams who will come to a few games every season."

Home tickets sold out to season ticket holders and members eight days after going on sale, meaning even new fans will be attending with long-term supporters.

If United can spring a surprise or run Pep Guardiola's men close, some of those watching the U's for the first time may return.

But even if Karl Robinson's side get thrashed, fans like season ticket holder Mitch East will keep coming back.

While it is the stadium's biggest game since United's 3-0 FA Cup win over Newcastle in January 2017, Mr East insists he will only have fond memories if the U's perform.

He said: "It won't be a great occasion just because it's City - we played Aston Villa here in 2002 but nobody mentions it because we lost 3-0."

Another longstanding supporter attending in a different guise is PC Simon Gray, from Thames Valley Police's football division.

The Botley-born officer, who covers United and Wycombe Wanderers, has been planning the police operation for the game since the draw was made last month.

PC Gray says there will be 'slightly' more resources than a normal matchday, but is expecting a positive mood pre-match.

He said: "We're expecting a carnival atmosphere that hopefully brings an upset."

He joked: "City might not play in a three-sided stadium again, so it's going to be like an FA Cup final for them."

If the U's do cause a shock, the celebrations will last into the night - and nowhere more so than The Blackbird pub in Blackbird Leys, a favourite among home fans.

But landlord Glenn Williams would not be drawn on whether he would keep the pub open later in the event of an historic win.

He said: "I'd like to stay open for an extra couple of hours, but it's down to what the police say."