How Times Change: The last time Manchester City faced Oxford United in 1998…

Manchester City go into tomorrow night’s Carabao Cup third round game against Oxford United as the overwhelming favourites, rated 1/8 at the bookmakers to win while the League One strugglers are a massive 25/1 to stage an unlikely upset.

City are expected to rotate with many changes, but even that side will boast players Karl Robinson’s side could only dream of fielding.

One Oxford player City fans will remember is 33-year-old Jamie Mackie, who put QPR ahead on that famous day in 2012. Mackie will miss tomorrow’s game with a hip problem, one of many sidelined for Oxford tomorrow with Robinson stating on Thursday that he only has 15 fit players.

Rewind just over 20 years and things were much different. City were down in Division 1 with Oxford and after the teams drew 0-0 at Oxford in November, The U’s visited Maine Road in March 1998.

The 28,690 in attendance at Maine Road were stunned as Oxford pulled off a big 2-0 win, just a couple of weeks after Joe Royle had been appointed City boss.

Oxford, in what is now the Championship, took the lead after Joey Beauchamp, a player who City were interested in back in those days, scored in the first half, before Jamie Cook added a second late on.

A horror tackle from City’s Peter Beardsley injured Oxford midfielder Stuart Massey and ended his professional career in the same game.

The teams that day:

Oxford United: Whitehead; Robinson, Davis, Gilchrist, Marsh; Massey, Gray, Smith, Beauchamp; Francis, Cook

Manchester City: Wright; Briscoe, Wiekens, Jeff Whitley, Symons; Shelia, Tshadadze, Jim Whitley, Bradbury; Beardsley, Rosler

Tomorrow’s game will have a completely different feel to it, but older fans of both Manchester City and Oxford United will remember two decades ago when Oxford, currently stuck in the League One relegation zone, beat the reigning Premier League champions.

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