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Kick off 15:00

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12 August 2017 Venue Bloomfield Road Attendance

Kick off 15:00

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English Football League - League One

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Preview: Blackpool

All you need to know ahead of MK Dons' Sky Bet League One clash at Bloomfield Road...

12 August 2017

MK Dons will be out to secure their first league success of the season when they visit Blackpool this afternoon.

Robbie Neilson’s side were beaten by Wigan Athletic in their Sky Bet League One opener but responded in midweek by defeating Forest Green Rovers in Round One of the Carabao Cup.

The men from MK1 will, therefore, be looking to build on that triumph and get on the board for 2017/18 in their first away league fixture – the Dons have won their first road league match in each of the past two seasons.

Kick-off is at 3pm.

Blackpool kick-off their home campaign today and they, like the Dons, will be aiming to earn their first points of 2017/18.

The Seasiders, who secured an immediate returnt to third tier last season, were beaten 2-1 by Bradford City on opening day and fell to a second straight defeat in midweek, losing by the same scoreline to Sky Bet League One rivals Wigan Athletic in the Carabao Cup.

However, there is still plenty of optimism at Bloomfield Road despite the results, given two impressive performances by the division’s newcomers in their testing opening matches. They will provide a tough test for Neilson and his side.

The Dons progressed through to Round Two of the Carabao Cup courtesy of a 1-0 victory at Forest Green Rovers on Tuesday.

Gboly Ariyibi was the match-winner for Neilson’s outfit after bagging his first goal for the Club in the 20th-minute of extra-time – in some style too!

The men from MK1 could have won the game in normal time, with Ariyibi, Aaron Tshibola and Paul Downing all going close.

Forest Green had chances too, however, but were denied on a number of occasions by an impressive Lee Nicholls.

Blackpool couldn’t overturn a 2-0 first-half deficit as they crashed out of the Carabao Cup at the first-round stage.

Gary Bowyer and his team dominated the early stages of Tuesday’s tie but somehow found themselves two 2-0 behind at the break, courtesy of goals from Josh Laurent and Jordan Flores.

Tangerines' striker Armand Gnanduillet pulled one back with a header just before the hour mark but Blackpool missed a number of decent goalscoring chances late on as they exited the competition with their second straight defeat.

Robbie Neilson: “It’s going to be a tough one, especially coming off the back of an extra-time game against Forest Green – travelling back from there in the early hours and then having to travel to Blackpool.

“We’re going up there at a good time of year. The pitch is looking good and it will be a surface we can play some good football on. We hope there’s a good atmosphere and we hope it’s a good game – one we can enjoy and get three points from.”

Gary Bowyer: “We proved very difficult to beat (at home) last season and we’ve got to do that again this season. We’ve got to build on that, keeping doing everything we’ve worked on in raining and try to be as competitive as we can be against a very difficult team in MK Dons.

“It’s well documented the players (MK Dons) have brought in – to bring Tshibola and Ariyibi in from the Championship shows the level they are at. We’ve got to go and match that with our effort and commitment.”

The Dons welcome back Joe Walsh and Scott Wootton from suspensions.

Walsh hasn’t featured this season because of his ban while Wootton missed Tuesday’s Carabao Cup tie after being sent off against Wigan Athletic.

Peter Pawlett (ankle) could return having sat out the 1-0 win over Forest Green Rovers, leaving Chuks Aneke (hamstring) as the Dons’ only definite absentee.

Today's match looks to have come too soon for defender Kelvin Mellor, according to boss Gary Bowyer.

Jim McAlister is also out with a leg injury.

Sebastian Stockbridge will be the man in the middle this afternoon.

Stockbridge has taken charge of two matches in 2017/18, producing a total of five yellow cards but he has yet to make a sending off.

The Tyne & Wear official’s last Dons appointment came last October, when he refereed the 1-0 defeat to Port Vale at Stadium MK – that afternoon he booked nine players.

His most recent Blackpool match was also during the 2016/17 campaign – Stockbridge showed four yellow cards and one red card in the Seasiders’ 1-1 draw with Colchester United at Bloomfield Road.

The assistant referees are Richard Bartlett and Helen Byrne while the fourth official is Simon Mather.

Dons wins: 3
Dons wins at Bloomfield Road: 0
Last Dons win: 4-3, 24 Aug 2010 (Stadium MK)
Biggest Dons win: 3-0, 11 Feb 2006 (National Hockey Stadium)

Draws: 0
Draws at Bloomfield Road: 0
Last draw: N/A

Blackpool wins: 3
Blackpool wins at Bloomfield Road: 2
Last Blackpool win: 2-0, 2 Dec 2006 (National Hockey Stadium)
Biggest Blackpool win: 2-0, 2 Dec 2006 (National Hockey Stadium)

Result
Dons win – 6/4
Draw – 9/4
Blackpool – 9/5

First goalscorer
Kieran Agard – 4/1
Ryan Seager – 13/2
Robbie Muirhead – 13/2
Gboly Ariyibi – 10/1
No goalscorer – 8/1
Mark Cullen – 11/2
Kyle Vassell – 11/2
Nathan Delfouneso – 7/1
Armand Gnanduillet – 7/1

Scorecast
Gboly Ariyibi to score first and MK Dons to win 1-0 – 45/1

*all odds correct at the time of writing

Create a Sky Bet account today and enjoy some fantastic offers – click here to register!

iFollow MK Dons will have live commentary of today's match – click here to sign up for as little as £4.49 for a month or £45 for the season!

Supporters can also stay in touch with the Dons via mkdons.com’s Match Centre, which can be accessed by visiting the home page from 2.30pm.

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 Blackpool are priced at £22 adults, £18 seniors and £10 under-19s while under-11s go FREE.

Travel is available to book for this fixture, with coach spaces priced at £29 adults and £28 senior and under-18 supporters. Season Ticket holders and members are entitled to a £1 discount on coach travel.

Tickets can now only be bought at Bloomfield Road ahead of kick-off - cash only.

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Match Reports

Report: Blackpool 1-0 MK Dons

Narrow defeat for men from MK1...

12 August 2017

Sean Longstaff’s early goal was the difference in MK Dons’ first away league fixture of the new season.

Kieran Agard, Ethan Ebanks-Landell and Scott Wootton came close to earning a share of spoils but the Dons were unable to find a way past a stubborn home defence.

Wootton returned to the starting XI after serving his one-game suspension while Robbie Muirhead began up top.

Blackpool started the brighter of the two teams and they took the lead inside five minutes, Sean Longstaff firing home from 15 yards after a well-worked corner.

Both sides saw free-kicks blocked in quick succession as the game approached the 10-minute mark – Aaron Tshibola hitting the wall with the Dons’ effort.

A counter from Robbie Neilson’s men involving Tshibola, Muirhead and George Williams set-up a chance for Ed Upson, who forced Ryan Allsop into a save from 25 yards.

The former almost picked out Agard with an incisive pass before he shot over from the edge of the box after the corner had been partially cleared.

Dean Lewington made a superb tackle at the crucial time to thwart Blackpool as they looked to break on the Dons midway through the half.

Ariyibi delivered a dangerous corner on half hour but the Dons were unable to take full advantage, Wootton heading back across but no-one was able to finish.

Shortly afterwards, Agard saw a goal-bound header blocked before Ebanks-Landell sent one just past the right-hand post after meeting the lively Ariyibi’s set-piece.

Bright Osayi-Samuel shot wide after latching on to a reverse pass from 15 yards as the hosts momentarily threatened a second goal on 43 minutes.

The Dons started the second half on the front foot, immediately winning a corner after Muirhead’s header was deflected over the top before Agard cut in and fired wide from 20 yards on 50 minutes.

An Ebanks-Landell flick-on from a Ariyibi corner caused problems in the Blackpool defence but no-one couldn’t convert while, at the other end, Lee Nicholls pushed away Jimmy Ryan’s free-kick.

Blackpool were continuing to frustrate the Dons, limiting them to shots from distance – the latest saw Tshibola curl wide on 70 minutes.

At the other end, Nicholls got down well to gather Osayi-Samuel before Viv Solomon-Otabor dragged an effort wide after a purposeful run.

Nicholls was at it again a minute later, pulling off a superb double save from close range to deny the lively Osayi-Samuel.

Substitute Sam Nombe directed Agard’s right-wing cross off target before the latter forced Allsop into a smart save from 25 yards – Lewington was beaten to the rebound.

Nombe was impressing up top for the Dons, holding the ball up, bringing team-mates into play and running the channels, but good opportunities were still hard to come by.

That was the case until the 85th minute when an Ariyibi free-kick caused mayhem in the Blackpool box but Wootton was denied by a combination of Curtis Tilt and Allsop.

The Dons continued to try and create until the final whistle but were unable to find a leveller and left Bloomfield Road empty handed.

Starting XI: Nicholls; Williams, Ebanks-Landell, Wootton, Lewington (c); Cisse; Agard, Upson (Seager 59), Tshibola, Ariyibi; Muirhead (Nombe 72).

Unused subs: Sietsma, Brittain, Walsh, McGrandles, Thomas-Asante.

Attendance: 3,412 (567 Dons fans).

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