Michael Raynes is among the Oxford United players hoping to benefit from a run-out in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy at Cheltenham Town tonight (7.45).

The centre back has not featured since injuring his neck on the opening day of the season.

But with U’s boss Michael Appleton planning to rotate the squad for the first-round tie, Raynes is likely to get back in the side.

He said: “I hope so, I need a game.

“You want to play football, that’s what you’re here for.

“There’s nothing worse than sitting on the bench and watching the boys play, you just want to be a part of it.

“It’s one of those where I just need to make sure if I do get a chance I take it.”

David Hunt, Max Crocombe and Jon Meades could also feature, while the likes of Michael Collins and Joe Riley could be rested altogether.

For Appleton, it is also an opportunity to gain confidence ahead of Saturday’s league trip to Southend United.

He said: “We certainly go into it wanting to win, because it’s important to go into the game on Saturday hopefully on a high.

“All of a sudden we would have a bit of momentum.”

Cheltenham, who have made their best start to a league campaign for 20 years, are also likely to make several changes.

On-loan teenager Koby Arthur is likely to be among those promoted into the starting line-up after scoring three goals as a substitute.

Their only injured player is former United midfielder Asa Hall, who is ruled out with a calf tear.


Cheltenham Tn: from Carson, Deaman, Brown, Elliott, Vaughan, Wynter, Richards, M Taylor, Black, Arthur, Marquis, Gornell, Harrison, Haworth, Hanks, Sterling-James, Braham-Barrett, J Taylor.

Oxford Utd: from Crocombe, Hunt, Raynes, Wright, Newey, Meades, Ruffels, Potter, Hoskins, Brown, Morris, Hylton, O’Dowda, Rose, Collins, Mullins, Riley, G Long.

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