MK Dons make the trip to Essex this weekend to take on Colchester United at the Weston Homes Community Stadium.
Karl Robinson’s men were beaten 2-1 by Crewe Alexandra on Tuesday night, a result which leaves them nine points adrift of the play-offs with just eight games left to play. Patrick Bamford had opened the scoring in that match with his first professional goal but a brace from Alex striker Mathias Pogba condemned the Dons to their second defeat in the space of seven days.
Despite the gap, the men from MK still retain hope of finishing in the top six this season however if they are to do achieve that feat, they will need to put an end to their disappointing away form, which has seen them win just four times on their travels in 2012/13.
In the way of a valuable three points, though, are a U’s side which have lost just once in their last six outings - a 2-1 defeat to Crewe Alexandra being the only blip in an otherwise impressive run. Joe Dunne’s men have taken points off both Yeovil Town and Coventry City in recent weeks and will no doubt have their eyes set on another scalp as they look to continue their fight against relegation.
Although aware that they will be in for a difficult afternoon in Essex, the Dons can take confidence from the reverse fixture between the two teams at stadiummk earlier this year, in which the hosts that day ran out 5-1 victors. Luke Chadwick’s double along with goals from Shaun Williams, Jon Otsemobor and Ryan Lowe saw the Dons pick up a valuable three points that afternoon and Robinson’s men will no doubt want a repeat of that scoreline this weekend.
The Dons will be without defender Antony Kay for the trip to Weston Homes Community Stadium after the centre-back picked up his third red card of the season on Tuesday night. As a result, the former Huddersfield and Barnsley man will serve a three-match suspension, keeping him sidelined until the home clash with Crawley Town.
Duo David Martin and Dean Bowditch are also expected to be unavailable with both players battling back and groin injuries respectively. Martin has been out of action for almost a month with a back complaint while Bowditch limped off with a groin injury in Tuesday night’s defeat to Crewe Alexandra.
Dean Lewington (knee), Luke Chadwick (hip) and Ryan Lowe (illness) are also doubts for the visitors but Daniel Powell could make a return to the squad having missed the last two games with a hamstring injury. Manager Robinson may well, though, be forced to call-up several under-18s due to the lack of numbers although duo Dele Alli and Giorgio Rasulo are away on international duty.