O'Flynn and Oakley set to return for tough away days for Exeter City
EXETER City manager Paul Tisdale hopes to welcome back midfielder Matt Oakley and striker John O'Flynn into the squad as the Grecians face a tough six days in their League Two campaign.
City face fourth-placed Burton Albion away on Saturday before travelling to second-in-the-table Port Vale on Tuesday.
O'Flynn has been out with a hamstring injury he picked up against Torquay United on January 15, while Oakley has been missing since the Aldershot match on February 2.
However, the news that they are set to recover from their injuries this weekend could not have been better timed, with Tisdale expecting a stern examination this weekend.
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"The fact that we are playing against teams in second and fourth positions in the league speaks for itself really," said Tisdale.
"We are at that stage of the season now where you can look at the league and get a strong sense of which teams are going to be difficult and I think playing these two teams will be a very good judgement of our team at the moment. I think it will give us a context of where we are.
"It is very early (to start talking about six-pointers), but this time next week the league table will look very different for us after these two games."
Burton Albion looks an especially difficult fixture as the Staffordshire club have won their last six games at home.
However, City also have an impressive away record having notched up 10 victories on the road this season.
With both sides holding such impressive records it is without doubt the stand-out fixture in League Two this Saturday and Tisdale is hoping it doesn't disappoint.
"It is one of those games that on paper looks like it is going to be a really interesting result," he said.
"I think both teams will go into the game with a lot of confidence.
"I think it will be a really, really tough encounter. I'd like to think we will give them a tougher game at home than they have had for a long time and it looks like they are going to give us a really, really stern challenge."
Burton Albion have surprised a few people with their recent form, but Tisdale added that when you look at them closely they are good value for their league position.
"They have surprised a few people," he said. "Gary Rowett has put together a very competitive, workman-like team that can score goals.
"There is no fluke in that. If you are winning games, there is a reason for it.
"They've got a good team ethic and sometimes you can surprise people by having a strong team unit and that is what they are doing.
"They have got the capability to score goals and I'm sure Gary has got a lot of enthusiasm.
"And while it is a surprise when you look at them closely, you can see why they are doing well."
Speaking about Port Vale, the City manager added: "I looked at Port Vale and I know their set-up and their team the way they play and they are going to be very strong for the final third of the season."
"They are building on the back of strength. They have done well and added more players to the team.
"I think they are still probably favourites to go on and win the league.
"Things can happen in January for the good or the bad. We haven't made a host of signings, but I believe our team is improving too, just by development of players and players gaining in experience."
Predited line-up: Krysiak, Amankwaah, Woodman, Coles, Baldwin, Bennett, Doherty, Keohane, Cureton, Molesley, O'Flynn