It's a question that causes debate so we're going to ask it anyway. 

Is Wycombe Wanderers vs Oxford United a derby.

Geographically, yes.

The two sides are just 28 miles apart (around 40 minutes) along the M40, they are in neighbouring counties, and they are both part of the Thames Valley.

Some aren't too keen on it being a derby 

For Oxford, Wycombe is actually the closest Football League club to them, whilst for the Chairboys, a trip to Reading will be their quickest journey.

READ MORE: 'We have no fit players at home' - Gareth Ainsworth on 'limited resources' after Bolton win

So why is this fixture not as talked about in terms of derbies, considering the recent, feisty battles between the team from the Kassam Stadium and the team from Adams Park?

I think it stems down to that it wasn’t until the 1994/95 season (December 1994 to be exact) when the two sides met for the first time in a competitive fixture.

It was only Wycombe’s second season as a Football League side and their first ever as a third-tier club, whilst Oxford had suffered two relegations in seven years.

Whilst others are - but what do you think?

After enjoying three seasons in Division One between 1985 and 1988, which also saw them win the League Cup in 1986, the Us dropped down from the top-tier, before falling again in 1994, which was the year Wanderers gained promotion to Division 2 (League One).

And coincidently, in that season which saw Wycombe and Oxford face each other for the first time in a Football League fixture, Wanderers ended up finishing one place off the play-offs, and one place higher than the Us.

READ MORE: Gareth Ainsworth on formation changes, learning lessons and Grimmer's goal as Wycombe beat Bolton

The rivalry was lukewarm for many years as both teams were chopping and changing leagues due to their promotion successes and relegation heartbreaks, meaning the longest period of time the two teams have met on a consistent basis in the league to date, were between the 2012/13 and 2015/16 seasons, which saw joy and despair for both Thames Valley sides.

One of these examples was in the 2013/14 campaign.

Oxford United boss Karl Robinson (PA)

Oxford United boss Karl Robinson (PA)

Wanderers survived at the skin of their teeth to avoid dropping down into the Non League, whilst Oxford, who spent the whole season in the play-offs or automatic spots, finished eighth after losing an incredible 11 games from their final 15 league matches.

In eight games as Oxford boss, Waddock won once and lost seven

The blue part of the Thames Valley were celebrating escaping the drop after a long and painful season, whilst the yellow side of the Home Counties dwelled on a campaign that should have had a better ending.

The next season, the tides turned as Wycombe were now fighting for promotion whilst Oxford were a mid-table side, and it was the season where the rivalry started to spice up.

In the first league meeting of that season between the two on November 1, 2014, at the Kassam, tackles were flying in, the crowd was up for it and, as someone who was at that game, you really felt that it was a match that meant a lot to both clubs, as a derby should be.

READ MORE: Wycombe defender Chris Forino wins the club's Player of the Month award for December

Wycombe won 2-1 thanks to goals from Paul Hayes and Peter Murphy.

The Ox’s had gone in front thanks to a Danny Hylton penalty before Hayes equalised in front of the Oxford fans.

Hayes' celebrations caused several United fans to share their displeasure at the striker, before Murphy’s header moments later sealed the game for Wycombe.

Do you agree?

There was drama in injury-time though, as Oxford were awarded another penalty but Hylton smashed his attempt over.

The match from November 2014 

But Oxford would get redemption a year later, as this fixture would be the day that saw the Us gain promotion to League One.

A 3-0 win against Wycombe on the final day of the 2015/16 season confirmed their place in the third tier for the first time since 2001.

The game which gave Oxford promotion in 2016

This came 10 years after they were relegated from the Football League.

It wouldn’t take long for Wycombe to join Oxford as they were promoted two years later to the same league.

READ MORE: 'They don’t know when they are beaten' - Ainsworth on Wycombe's attitude following Sunderland draw

The two sides met again domestically in the 2018/19 campaign which ended in a 0-0 draw at Adams Park, before Oxford dramatically won the corresponding fixture 2-1 thanks to an injury-time winner by Josh Ruffles.

A season later, Oxford defeated Wycombe again thanks to a James Henry strike in a 1-0 win at the Kassam Stadium, which also saw Adebayo Akinfenwa receive a straight red card before the half-hour mark.

Gareth Ainsworth lifts up the Play-off final trophy after Wycombe defeated Oxford 2-1 in July 2020 (PA)

Gareth Ainsworth lifts up the Play-off final trophy after Wycombe defeated Oxford 2-1 in July 2020 (PA)

Then, after Covid-19 got in the way, fate would put Wycombe and Oxford together in the League One Play-Off final on Monday, July 13, 2020, at a soaking wet Wembley Stadium.

And we all know how that ended (sorry to remind you, Oxford fans).

Wycombe's greatest day?

The game is about opinions, so to me, this is a derby.

It may not be the most long-lasting rivalries compared to the others, but rivalries have to start at some point.

Even Gareth Ainsworth believes this is a derby.

Speaking after the win against Bolton on January 11, he said: “The M40 Derby…sorry Oxford fans.

READ MORE: Wycombe's away fixture at Cambridge is called off due to the Yellows' FA Cup commitments

“I know you’ll be shouting at that right now, but it is, and we can’t wait for them to come down to Adams Park.

“It was a good game at their place, Karl is a friend and he’ll have is team very organised and they’re one of the favourites to go up.

The game will be dedicated to Alana

“We need to get the boys recovered, get back and we’ll on Oxford as much as we can over the next few days and hopefully, we’ll get a few back from injury as well as pandemic testing and I’m sure it’ll be a great occasion.”

Cast your vote!

So, whilst others may disagree, this fixture should be considered as a derby. 

The match on January 15 will kick-off at 3pm.

To purchase your ticket, go to