The next leg of the Grand League Two Roadshow 2014-5 takes us to Mansfield Town for a not-so-chance encounter with the Stags, and if we’ve learned anything from Men Behaving Badly (and we bloody have), it means that we are supposed to act like stags. AAAAOOO! Or however you choose to imitate that particular animal – and by which, of course, we mean Martin Clunes.
It’s taken some doing but we’re now over the trauma of being shot down in flames by an ordinary Oxford side on our own patch last time out. If you were picking yourself up off the tiles after that kind of experience and needed the perfect opponent to get back into the swing of things, then – ladies and gentledandies – Mansfield Town would be a strong candidate to be “that team”…
The Stags have the worst form in the division over the last six games and haven’t won since before Christmas; four of the last five games have been fruitless occasions for them – the exception being, weirdly, a credible enough draw against promotion-chasing Wycombe. The Stags are in a similar position to when we went up to York a few weeks ago, and that went alright didn’t it?
Of course, there are differences we have to point out and, to be honest, we’re going to be peeing on the parade a bit. Firstly, our hosts are relatively average at Field Mill and have scored in three quarters of their home games. Secondly, we’re ravaged by injuries and the team selection will reflect that – you’d think at least one of our two loanees will make the starting eleven this week.
EA Sports was once again a game behind as we put this one to the test on FIFA 15, with the same starting 11 as Oxford. And like our experience with the Us last weekend, it was a pretty meh affair with Calvin Zola netting the only goal – although, as you can see, he needed two bites of the cherry. A scrappy 1-0 win? That didn’t work out so well for us last weekend. Ooh-err…
And, as you can see, we made a right cock up of capturing the moment for your posterity:
The bookies are looking to rattle our cages with an attractive 7/4 on the away win (Boylesports, BetVictor), although the demon in your head might look at the 17/10 on a home triumph. We’re not expecting the goals to flow out of this one, and a price of 8/11 on Under 2.5 probably best reflects that. Danny Johnson is an incredible 14/1 to score anytime if you deal with Stan James.
Our fortunes against Mansfield have been quite good in the few times we’ve come up against them. We’ve lost just the once and not only is that only occasion on which we didn’t put three past them, but we still ended that afternoon in the playoffs! Three goals may be asking a bit much this weekend, but we’ve got to be backing ourselves to stop the recent rot in this one… haven’t we?