City extended their unbeaten run to 17 and booked their passage into the knockout stages of the EFL Trophy with a first half demolition of Bristol Rovers, although the near capitulation in the second half will have been a worry. Matt Taylor made 10 changes to his starting XI including a debut for Sam Stubbs, who came through 45 minutes unscathed in his first match in about a year. Elsewhere the likes of Josh Coley, Owura Edwards and Padraig Amond staked a claim for a start in City’s second of four successive home matches on Saturday, although Taylor is likely to go back to something like the side that started at Bradford last week.
Tipped to struggle despite the appointment of Keith Curle in the summer, Oldham have done just that and go into Saturday’s fixture one place outside the relegation spots. Wins have been hard to come by, just three in the league so far, the last one a month ago against Stevenage, although the Latics did record a creditable draw at Ipswich in the FA Cup last week and therefore, like City, have an extra fixture to accommodate. The lack of a regular goal scorer is a concern, with Davis Kellior-Dunn leading the way with five in all competitions. Much is expected of Hallam Hope, but he has just one goal so far. Veteran Nicky Adams, who has played under Curle at Northampton and Carlisle, recently returned to the side after a couple of months injured and will be one to watch.
Despite their travails last season, Oldham picked up maximum points against City with two 2-1 wins. The corresponding fixture at almost the same weekend of the season saw City take the lead through Williams, but stunning strikes from Blackwood and Rowe sealed the points. The return at Boundary Park saw Oldham go 2-0 up through Jameson and McCalmont before Jack Sparkes reduced the arrears. Those wins closed the league head to head gap with City ahead 13-10, seven matches finishing level. Details of the last 14 games can be found at https://www.grecians.co.uk/wordpress/?p=10043
Match officials for the gamer will be:-
Referee: Ollie Yates
Assistant Referees: Simon Shaw and Justin Amey
Fourth Official : Michael Begley
Ollie Yates has taken charge of six Exeter games, see https://www.grecians.co.uk/wordpress/?s=ollie+yates