On Tuesday night, the League One Playoffs will kick off with Oxford United hosting Blackpool. The clubs are just three matches away from promotion to the Championship. Oxford United finished the League One season in sixth place and ended the campaign with three consecutive wins. Those three wins enabled the Yellows to get into the League One Playoffs. Oxford United posted a +21-goal difference allowing them to beat out Charlton Athletic for the final playoff place on goal difference.

Blackpool finished third in the League One table with 80 points. They ultimately finished seven points behind second-place Peterborough. The Seasiders ended the League One regular season with four straight victories. All four of those games finished as wins to nil for Blackpool.

Although these teams are both in form, Blackpool’s defensive record over the last four matches makes them a potential League One Playoff winner. Blackpool have recorded 28 clean sheets in all competitions this season.

These teams have met eight times in League One since 2017-18. Oxford United posted a record of 4W-1D-3L against Blackpool in the division. The Seasiders did go unbeaten against Oxford United this season with a nil-nil draw and a 2-0 away win. Kenneth Dougall and Daniel Ballard scored in the first half to lead Blackpool to the victory.

Oxford United vs Blackpool Betting Odds

 

Oxford United finished the League One season topping the form table. They took 15 points from the last 18 available to them. Karl Robinson’s team scored a brilliant 18 goals while conceding eight goals to opponents over the course of those last six games. Oxford United were the League One beaten finalists last season by Wycombe Wanderers. Robinson will hope that the second time in the League One Playoffs will be more successful. Oxford United scored 77 times in the league which was the third-most goals by any team in the division.

Leading sportsbooks have Oxford United as the favourite to win the match at odds of 6/4. They are favourites to win the game despite not defeating Blackpool in two League One regular season matches. The Yellows failed to score a goal in the 180 minutes of football against Blackpool.

Former Liverpool coach Neil Critchley has improved Blackpool greatly in his first full season at the club. He led the side to third place in the final league standings. Now, Critchley will hope the side can go through the playoffs and finally return to the Championship.

Sportsbooks have Blackpool at odds of 21/10 to win at the end of full-time versus Oxford United. They won away against the Yellows in March. Blackpool scored 60 goals and conceded 37 times in the regular season. They had the best defensive record in the division. The teams are at odds of 23/10 to end in a stalemate.

Oxford United vs Blackpool Team News

Robinson is likely to keep the Oxford United team the same as in their 4-0 win over Burton on the final day of the regular season. The Yellows won the game 4-0 to continue a great run of form that allowed them to reach the top six. Robinson was able to rest key players late in the game against Burton due to the team’s commanding lead.

Forward Matty Taylor leads Oxford United with 18 league goals. He added four assists to his stats line. His form is likely to keep Sam Winnall on the bench at the beginning of the game. Winnall has scored three goals and added an assist in his last six appearances. Each appearance came from off the bench.

Critchley made a variety of changes to the team on the final day of the League One regular season. With their playoff place wrapped up, Blackpool still won 1-0 against Bristol Rovers despite the changes. Critchley will bring back the team’s strongest XI for the first leg of the League One Playoffs. The manager will likely play the likes of Ellis Simms, Jerry Yates, Oliver Turton, Luke Garbutt, Danny Ballard and Chris Maxwell.

Yates has been brilliant for Blackpool this season. He has 20 goals in 44 appearances in League One in 2020-21. No other Blackpool player has scored double digit goals for the club. He averaged a goal in the League One regular season every 178 minutes.

Oxford United vs Blackpool Prediction

Both teams to score: NO @ 19/20 - BET NOW

 

This will be the third match of the season between Oxford United and Blackpool. The Seasiders are unbeaten against Oxford United this season and did not allow Oxford United to score over the course of 180 minutes. Blackpool kept 28 clean sheets this season. Their last four matches in League One all ended in wins to nil.

Jerry Yates to score anytime @ 7/4 - BET NOW

 

Yates has scored 20 times in 44 appearances in League One this term. The 24-year-old striker is linked with a transfer to Sunderland for £2 million regardless of which side achieve Championship promotion. Yates did not play against Bristol Rovers but will return to the side on Tuesday. He has scored two goals and added two assists in the last two Blackpool matches.

Under 2.5 goals scored @ 4/6 - BET NOW

 

The first leg of the League One Promotion Playoffs between Oxford United and Blackpool should be a low-scoring affair. Just like their two matches in the league this season, goals should be at a premium despite Oxford United’s good goal-scoring form. The old cliche tells us that good defence will always trump good offence. Three of Blackpool’s last four games ended in wins to nil with under 2.5 goals scored.

Oxford United’s last six games in the league all finished with more than 2.5 goals scored. Playing against League One’s best defensive team, the Yellows could struggle to score goals and fail in the final third. The winner of the playoff semifinal featuring Oxford United and Blackpool will meet either Lincoln City or Sunderland. Based on form, this is a difficult game to call, but Blackpool do have the better defence which could lead them to a first leg win.