With Oxford currently sitting top of the embryonic League Two table, we welcome Plymouth Argyle to the Kassam next.
Plymouth have come a long way since their visit last season, which resulted in a 5-1 tonking. At the time, Argyle had to send out what was essentially a youth team because they couldn't afford a full senior team. Now the club has stabilised since James Brent's takeover and managed to secure Football League safety with a 1-1 draw against Oxford back in April.
This season manager Carl Fletcher has apparently been given a 'promotion budget', but the side that will feature at the Kassam consists mostly of the same payers that finished the season at Argyle. They have not made a fantastic start to the season; an apparently impressive 3-0 victory over League One Portsmouth in the League Cup was essentially a walkover against the Pompey youth team, and they lost their opening match 3-0 at home to Aldershot before picking up their first point with a goalless draw at Dagenham.
On the playing side, there are plenty of links between Oxford and Plymouth. Darren Purse's successful 18-month spell at Oxford were impressive enough to ensure that he is forever remembered fondly as one of the best centre-backs to have worn the yellow shirt. After a long career with Birmingham, West Brom, Cardiff and Sheffield Wednesday he now finds himself at the heart of the Plymouth defence as club captain. Another familiar name on the Argyle teamsheet is goalkeeper Jake Cole, who made five appearances for Oxford on loan from QPR at the start of the 2008-09 season. Also turning out for Plymouth is Paul Wotton, who made 4 forgettable appearances for Oxford in the 2010-11 season. Our own Tony Capaldi, who is set to feature at left back, made over 140 Championship appearances for Plymouth over four years at the club.
Chris Wilder has an interesting dilemma for this match, with the return to fitness of James Constable from a groin strain. Does Beano make an immediate return to the team, despite his form so far this season, or does Tommy Craddock get a starting opportunity after netting twice on Tuesday after coming off the bench?
From the Vaults
Oxford United v Plymouth Argyle, 2th October 2011
A financially-crippled Plymouth team consisting mostly of youth players and cut adrift at the bottom of League Two visited the Kassam for the first match between these two sides in almost a decade. It didn't end well for them...
You can find this and many other old Oxford matches on our Video Vault page.