Crewe manager Dario Gradi will continue with Rhys Taylor in goal for the clash with Oxford, although Steve Phillips is closing in on a return.

Phillips, 32, has been out of action all summer after undergoing surgery on both shoulders, but returned to training this week with the youth team.

He is scheduled to resume first-team training next week as he begins his comeback to competitive action.

Carl Martin is out of the clash at Gresty Road with a shin complaint, although skipper Lee Bell should be fine despite suffering with flu this week.

Meanwhile, 16-year-old striker Nick Powell staked his claim for a first-team spot by scoring for the reserves as they defeated Blackburn 2-0 in midweek.

Oxford manager Chris Wilder will keep the same central defence for the clash against Crewe despite last week's shock 1-0 home defeat to Stockport.

Mark Creighton and Harry Worley will once again lead the backline after Damien Batt was still ruled out with an ankle injury.

Jake Wright is making good progress from his back injury and could return to the squad in the next couple of weeks and, although Rhys Day has returned to training, this game comes too soon for the defender.

United midfielder Simon Clist took part in the reserves game in midweek after returning to training and could go straight into the squad to face Alexandra.

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