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24 March 2018 Venue Stadium mk Attendance

Kick off 15:00 (UK)

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Sky Bet League One

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Preview: Blackpool

All you need to know ahead of today’s Sky Bet League One clash at Stadium MK...

24 March 2018

MK Dons will be looking to record three consecutive wins for the first time under Dan Micciche when they entertain Blackpool at Stadium MK this afternoon.

MK Dons reordered back-to-back wins last weekend when they overcame Rotherham United and then Bury. Chuks Aneke's brace secured all three points against the Shakers, as the Dons stood firm in the final few minutes to breathe life into their relegation fight.

The Dons currently sit 22nd in the Sky Bet League One table, two points adrift of safety. With Oldham Athletic not in action this weekend and Northampton facing Fleetwood Town, three points this afternoon could dramatically change the picture in the battle for survival - should Northampton not pick up three points a win for MK Dons would see them climb out of the relegation zone.

A win will also see the Dons pull themselves to within five points of 15th-placed Blackpool, who won't want to be looking over their shoulder as the final run-in approaches. Should results work in the favour of Micciche's side they could turn a good week into a great fortnight.

Kick-off is at 3pm.

Blackpool secured promotion from Sky Bet League Two last season overcoming Exeter City 2-1 in the play-off final. Goals from Brad Potts and Mark Cullen sent the Tangerines fans into raptures at the home of English football.

Gary Bowyer was very active in the summer adding 15 new faces to his side including Jay Spearing from Bolton Wanderers, Oliver Turton from Crewe Alexandra and Jimmy Ryan from Fleetwood Town amongst others. Viv Solomon-Otabor, Sean Longstaff and Callum Cooke also joined the Lancashire Club on loan.

Blackpool currently sit 15th in the Sky Bet League One table and while they have a six-point gap between themselves and the relegation zone – they will be hoping to avoid the drop come the end of the season.

MK Dons moved to within one point of safety as two Chuks Aneke penalties earned Dan Micciche's side a 2-1 victory at Stadium MK.

Clark Robertson's third goal of the season saw Blackpool come back from behind for a point in a 1-1 draw with Southend United.

The defender struck in first-half added time to cancel out an early opener from Southend striker Marc Antoine Fortune.

The Dons will be without both Callum Brittain and Robbie Muirhead due to international call-ups.

Elsewhere, loanees Josh Tymon and Marcus Tavernier are still sidelined with their respective injuries. Scott Golbourne has made good progress with his hip injury, however, Saturday's clash will come too soon for the defender.

Joe Walsh (knee) and Alex Gilbey (knee) are still out of action.

Blackpool could still be without Nathan Delfouneso after the striker suffered a concussion following a clash of heads with Charlton's Lewis Page.

Kevin Mellor (ankle), Mark Cullen (hamstring) and Jim McAlister (bruising) were also missing for the clash with the Shrimpers. Four points from their last two games have helped Blackpool move six points and six places clear of the relegation zone

Graham Horwood will take charge of today's match at Stadium MK. In 21 games this season, Ward has produced 71 yellow cards and two red.

The Luton official refereed the Dons' 2-0 defeat against Portsmouth earlier in the season, while he is yet to take charge of a Blackpool game this campaign.

Horwood's assistant referees on Saturday are David Plowright and Mark Cunliffe while the fourth official is Dean Whitestone.

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

Draws: 0

Blackpool wins: 2
Blackpool wins at Stadium MK: 1
Last Blackpool win: 1-0, 12 Aug 2017 (Stadium MK)
Biggest Blackpool win: 1-0, 12 Aug 2017 (Stadium MK)

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

First goalscorer
Chuks Aneke: 5/1
Kieran Agard: 11/2
Osman Sow: 11/2
Ike Ugbo: 6/1

Scorecast
Chuks Aneke to score first and MK Dons to win 2-0 – 45/1

Sky Bet tip
Over 4.5 goals, 15+ match corners and 70+ match booking points – 350/1

Supporters living outside the UK can watch the match LIVE with an iFollow MK Dons Season/Monthly Pass or by purchasing a Match Pass – click HERE for more information!

iFollow MK Dons will have also live commentary of the game for UK-based fans – click HERE to sign up for as little as £4.49 for a month.

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 1pm.

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 at Stadium MK are priced from £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/cash-only ticket booths or call 0333 200 5343. Tickets will be available to buy right up until kick-off.

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Match Reports

Report: MK Dons 0-0 Blackpool

Dominant Dons forced to settle for a point...

24 March 2018

MK Dons were forced to settle for a point against Blackpool, as they made it seven points from a possible nine from their three-game home stretch.

It was a match there for the taking for Dan Micciche’s side, who went close on several occasions through Peter Pawlett, Chuks Aneke and Robbie Muirhead.

In the end, they left with a point – a result which sees them move back to within a point of safety in Sky Bet League One.

Micciche was forced into making three changes to his side with Osman Sow sidelined due to a knock, Callum Brittain away on international duty and Robbie Muirhead only able to make the bench after returning from Andorra in the early hours of the morning, having been there with Scotland Under-21s.

Ethan Ebanks-Landell, Ousseynou Cisse and Kieran Agard were the trio who came in while there was a place among the substitutes for Nigel Reo-Coker, who signed a short-term deal with the Dons on Thursday.

It took until the 10th minute for the game’s first shot to arrive. It was Kyle Vassell with the effort – a low left-footed daisy-cutter that Lee Nicholls gathered comfortably. That chance was followed up quickly by a long-distance drive from Jay Spearing which sailed harmlessly over the crossbar.

Peter Pawlett headed wide with the Dons’ first opportunity – the midfielder did well to meet the cross from Dean Lewington but couldn’t direct his header on target. Kieran Agard then came close to latching onto Ebanks-Landell’s through pass however he was denied by some good defending from Curtis Tilt.

Agard was involved again on 23 minutes to create a chance for Chuks Aneke. After racing into the area, he found the Dons’ number 10, who turned his man and produced a save out of Joe Lumley with a right-footed shot.

Micciche’s men were growing into the contest and they were denied an opener on the half-hour mark by a strong Lumley save – the Blackpool stopper did well to get his right arm to Pawlett’s driven attempt and keep it from finding the net.

The Tangerines fired back soon after with their first real attack for over 20 minutes. Colin Daniel delivered a teasing low ball into the area but Elliott Ward did brilliantly to slide in, intercept the cross and hook clear from danger.

Winger Viv Solomon-Otabor then flashed an effort wide before the Dons threatened from an Upson corner in the closing stages of the first half – Cisse met the delivery but Ward, with his back to goal, couldn’t convert inside the six-yard box.

It remained goalless through to half-time although Blackpool went close to changing that right at the start of the second period however Solomon-Otabor couldn’t keep his effort down at the far post after connecting with a deep cross.

The Dons then had a penalty appeal ignored by referee despite it appearing as though George Williams had been tripped while aiming to pounce on a loose ball inside the area. Play continued and Pawlett almost took advantage but saw his shot saved by Lumley.

Just past the hour, looking to create something from nothing, Aneke sent an ambitious lob from 25-yards just a couple of yards wide of the left upright. Micciche then introduced Muirhead off the bench in place of Ebanks-Landell, who played well on his return to the starting XI.

Solomon-Otabor had a decent opportunity to create a chance for his side in the 70th minute but he couldn’t pick out a teammate after moving into the area unopposed. At the other end, Lumley was forced into action to palm away a stinging drive from Muirhead.

Ugbo then entered the contest, replacing Kieran Agard.
Lumley was called upon again with 15 minutes to play, forced to tip Wootton’s looping header over the crossbar. From the resulting corner, Aneke fired into the side netting from a tight angle.

Aneke was presented with another opening two minutes later but slipped after turning in the area and therefore his shot lacked the power needed to trouble the Blackpool goalkeeper.

Cisse was forced off with an injury on 81 minutes, which allowed Brandon Thomas-Asante to enter the contest. He and fellow substitute Muirhead soon combined to create a chance for Ugbo, whose first-time shot was kept out by Lumley.

Five minutes of stoppage time were awarded at the end of the tightly-contested contest, just moments after Blackpool substitute Sean Longstaff rattled the crossbar.

In the third of those five additional minutes, the Dons were awarded a free-kick inside the D for a foul on Aneke. The striker took the set-piece himself but curled his effort over Lumley’s goal.

There was one more chance for the Dons in the dying seconds as Aneke teed up Lewington for a strike on the edge of the box. The skipper found the net with his drive but it didn’t count, with the whistle having already been blown for full-time.

Starting XI: Nicholls; Wootton, Ward, Ebanks-Landell (Muirhead 66); Williams, Pawlett, Upson, Cisse (Thomas-Asante 81), Lewington (c); Aneke, Agard (Ugbo 73).

Unused subs: Sietsma, Jackson, Reo-Coker, McGrandles.

Booked: Aneke

Referee: G Horwood

Attendance: 8,094 (490 away)

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