FOR the second season in a row, Covid ripped through the English Football League’s festive fixture list.

Exactly half of the 48 Sky Bet League One games scheduled between December 18 and today were postponed because of the virus, with some clubs feeling the effects more than others.

Last January, following similar disruption, we tallied up how many postponements each side had suffered by that point of the season.

Oxford United were the joint second-highest in League One, with six, but this time around they are at the other end of the table.

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The U’s have only had three games called off in 2021/22 and one of those, the trip to Sunderland, has since been played.

Only Shrewsbury Town have had fewer matches postponed (two), when you include the fixtures scheduled for this weekend but rearranged because of the Emirates FA Cup third round.

Meanwhile, Wigan Athletic have experienced by far the most disruption, with seven games already postponed this season.

This weekend’s trip to Portsmouth will also be rescheduled due to the Latics’ FA Cup involvement, bringing the total to eight.

It has given the top of League One a slightly lopsided feel, with third-placed Wigan having played three fewer matches than the rest of the top six.

Only time will tell whether it is better to have games in hand or a less congested schedule, but United can look forward to a less hectic second half of the campaign than last year.

The U’s have just 22 matches to fit into the final four months of the season, excluding a potential play-off campaign, with only four of those in midweek.

Compare that to 2020/21, when they squeezed the same number of league games – plus a Papa John’s Trophy semi-final against Tranmere Rovers - into three months.

It did not do them any harm as they finished strongly to snatch a play-off place, so it will be interesting what happens with a more flexible schedule.