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Posted Thu 17 Jan 13

Preview: Crewe Alexandra

MK Dons return to League action this weekend when they travel to Cheshire to take on an in-form Crewe Alexandra side.

The Alex, who currently sit in 10th place in the table having picked up 16 points from their last eight games, have adapted comfortably to life back in the third tier of English football following their promotion via the play-offs from League 2 last season.

When the two teams met earlier in the season, the Dons walked away with a narrow victory courtesy of a first-half Charlie MacDonald strike but the Railwaymen have only lost four times at the Alexandra Stadium so far this campaign and will provide Robinson’s men with a tough test as they look to continue their undefeated start to 2013.

The Dons, buoyant on the back of their FA Cup victory over Sheffield Wednesday on Tuesday night, make the journey north looking to close the gap on second-placed Doncaster Rovers, who lye ten points clear of Robinson’s men.

The Dons will monitor the fitness of the side’s current top-goalscorer Dean Bowditch who limped off towards the end of the Cup replay in mid-week.

Bowditch, who only returned to the side last weekend following a groin injury picked up on New Year’s Day, is expected to recover in time to face the Alex with loanee Zeli Ismail waiting in the wings if required.

Elsewhere, the Dons will be boosted by defensive duo Jon Otsemobor and Gary MacKenzie who both made it through Tuesday night’s game unscathed following lengthy injury spells while Ryan Harley is also likely to feature after being rested against Wednesday.

Striker Izale McLeod is once again available after he was cup-tied for the clash with the Owls.

Crewe will have England Under-19 striker Max Clayton available after he made a return from injury during the Alex’s Johnstone’s Paint Trophy clash with Bradford in mid-week.

Elsewhere, the hosts have no fresh injury concerns with defender Mark Ellis expecting to start after he missed the Cup tie on Tuesday night.