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Preview: Fleetwood Town

Posted: Fri 17 Feb 2017
Author: mkdons.com

MK Dons face Fleetwood Town this afternoon, looking to maintain their excellent form at Stadium MK.

Robbie Neilson’s men have won four of their last six home matches in all competitions, while they tasted defeat at MK1 just once since November.

They do, though, go into today’s clash in search of their first win in three games, after taking only one point from two tough away fixtures at Oxford United and Bury. The men from MK1 will also be looking to get back amongst the goals after scoring just twice in their last four.

A win this afternoon would see Neilson’s side move above Charlton Athletic into 13th place, should the Addicks lose away to play-off hopefuls Rochdale. They’ll also want to close the gap on the top six once again, after slipping 11 points adrift in midweek.

Kick-off is at 3pm.
THE OPPOSITION
Fleetwood will arrive in Milton Keynes this afternoon with aspirations of stretching their unbeaten run in Sky Bet League One to 16 games.

The Cod Army, fourth in the table and just four points adrift of the automatic-promotion places, haven’t lost in the league since a 2-1 defeat at Port Vale during the second weekend of November – over three months ago.

Away from home, Uwe Rosler’s side have been solid throughout the campaign. While they’ve only scored 18 goals from 15 road trips, they’ve only conceded 17 times which is a total bettered by only Bolton Wanderers and the Dons in Sky Bet League One.

If there was to be one negative point made about the Lancashire outfit, it is that they tend to draw too many games – three of their last four matches have ended all-square.
LAST TIME OUT
The Dons were left frustrated on Tuesday evening after being held to a goalless draw by Bury at Gigg Lane.

Neilson’s men enjoyed the better of the chances but weren’t able to find a way past Shakers goalkeeper Joe Murphy.

Stuart O’Keefe had the best opportunity to earn all three points for the visitors in the second half but he fired over from Harvey Barnes’ cross despite being well-placed 10-yards from goal.

Ben Tilney, on his league debut for the Dons, also went close late on but his near-post effort was palmed away by Murphy.



Fleetwood picked up a vital win in the race for promotion from Sky Bet League One, as they came-from-behind to beat Bradford City at Highbury Stadium.

The Bantams dominated the first-half but failed to make their chances count early on. Eventually, though, the opened the scoring courtesy of Jordy Hiwula, who played a one-two with his teammate Charlie Wyke before finishing under Cod Army goalie Alex Cairns.

Cairns pulled off a stunning save to deny Alex Gillead after the break and that stop proved crucial as Fleetwood went on to equalise courtesy of a poacher’s finish from Devante Cole.

Rosler’s team then completed their dramatic comeback with nine minutes to play – Bradford defender Rory McArdle turning a Conor McLaughlin cross past his own goalkeeper from inside the six-yard box.
FIGHTING TALK
Robbie Neilson: “It’s going to be a tough one for us. They’re pushing for automatic promotion and they come here in real good form.  Uwe’s got them playing really well and they have a lot of pace up front – it’s going to be a tough game.”



Ashley Eastham: “We will fully respect MK Dons but will look to put our stamp on the game. It’s going to be a tough afternoon and hopefully we can come out on top. We’re in great form and looking to keep it going.”
TEAM NEWS
Dean Lewington is set to return for the Dons after four weeks out with an ankle injury.

Darren Potter is also available following suspension but there are still key absentees for Neilson to contend with.

Joe Walsh and Ed Upson are both banned while Ben Reeves (groin) is still a week away. Nicky Maynard will be monitored as he recovers from a hamstring injury.

Fleetwood look set to be without striker Wes Burns for another game after he missed the win over Bradford with a leg injury.

Defender Nathan Pond, midfielder Jimmy Ryan and winger Martyn Woolford are also sidelined for the Cod Army.
OFFICIALS
Today's referee is Nicholas Kinseley, who will be taking charge of the Dons for the very first time.

The Essex official has marshalled 22 games this season and shown 94 yellow cards. He’s made six dismissals, including five in his last 12 appointments.

Kinseley’s assistant referees this afternoon are Marc Wilson and Garry Maskell while the fourth official is Alan Dale.
HEAD TO HEAD
Dons wins: 3
Dons wins at Stadium MK: 1
Last Dons win: 4-1, 24 Sep 2016 (Highbury Stadium)
Biggest win: 4-1, 24 Sep 2016 (Highbury Stadium)



Draws: 0
Draws at Stadium MK: 0
Last draw: N/A



Fleetwood wins: 0
Fleetwood wins at Stadium MK: 0
Last Fleetwood win: N/A
Biggest Fleetwood win: N/A
SKY BET ODDS
Result
Dons win: 6/5
Draw: 9/4
Away: 12/5

First goalscorer
Kieran Agard: 9/2
Chuks Aneke: 6/1
Dean Bowditch: 6/1
Harvey Barnes: 13/2
No goalscorer: 8/1
David Ball: 11/2
Ashley Hunter: 13/2
Devante Cole: 8/1
Bobby Grant: 10/1

*All odds correct at the time of writing

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FOLLOW IT LIVE
MK Dons PlayerHD will have live commentary of today’s match –
click here to sign up for as little as £4.49 a month!

Supporters can also stay in touch with the Dons via mkdons.com’s matchday blog, which can be accessed by visiting the home page from midday.

There will also be full coverage on the Club’s social media channels –
Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat!
 
A full match report will be available to view on mkdons.com straight after the final whistle.

Tickets for today's clash with Fleetwood Town at Stadium MK are priced at £22 adults, £17 over-65s/under-21s* and £7 under-18s while under-12s go FREE with a Young Dons membership*

To book tickets click here, visit the Box Office/centre:mk kiosk or call 0333 200 5343.
Tickets will also be available from the cash-only booths around Stadium MK from 1pm.