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02 September 2017 Venue Stadium mk Attendance

Kick off 15:00 (UK)

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English Football League - League One

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Preview: Oxford United

All you need to know ahead of today's Sky Bet League One clash...

2 September 2017

MK Dons will be hoping to celebrate their second Stadium MK success in the space of four days when they take on Oxford United this afternoon.

Robbie Neilson’s men opened their Checkatrade Trophy campaign with a 2-0 win in midweek and will be out to build on that triumph when they entertain the U’s in a testing Sky Bet League One clash.

A victory today would also be the Dons’ second straight home league win, following their 1-0 triumph over Gillingham a fortnight ago. Making that happen would be the ideal way to kick-start a month which includes a number of big match-ups for Neilson and his team.

Kick-off is at 3pm.

Oxford Utd have made a strong start to the 2017/18 campaign and currently sit seventh in Sky Bet League One with seven points to their name.

Pep Clotet’s team have enjoyed convincing victories over Oldham Athletic and Portsmouth, while their 1-1 draw away at early high-fliers Shrewsbury Town was an impressive result.

Their only league defeat this season came away at Scunthorpe United two weeks ago but they responded in their next outing on the road, thrashing Stevenage 6-2 in the Checkatrade Trophy.

The U’s did lose star man Marvin Johnson on Deadline Day but they were able to add two Championship players in Alex Mowatt and John Mousinho – they’ll be hoping the pair can help them maintain their good early form.

The Dons kicked off their Checkatrade Trophy campaign with a comfortable 2-0 win over Brighton & Hove Albion Under-21s at Stadium MK.

Gboly Ariyibi deservedly opened the scoring in the 32nd-minute when he pounced on a heavy touch from Brighton goalkeeper Rob Sanchez to slot home his second goal for the Club.

Neilson’s men dominated the contest and made sure of their success midway through the second half when Brandon Thomas-Asante was brought down by Sanchez in the penalty area –
Aaron Tshibola converted the spot-kick to hand the Dons all three points.

The U’s, alongside the Dons in Group G of the Checkatrade Trophy, enjoyed an excellent start to the competition as they thrashed Stevenage 6-2 at the Lamex Stadium.

Boro went ahead 18 minutes in but Oxford Utd fought back to lead 2-1 at the break thanks to goals from James Henry and Rob Hall. Jon Obika, Hall and Joe Rothwell then extended United’s lead early in the second half before Henry made it six just after the hour mark.

Stevenage did grab a consolation late on but it didn’t do anything to threaten what was a dominant result and performance from the Oxfordshire club.

Robbie Neilson: “They’ve started the season really well. They’ve got real quality in the attacking areas and they’ve scored a lot of goals.

“You can see what Pep’s trying to do. They are very aggressive when they press and they play with high lines. When they win it they try to flood the middle. We know what we have to do to try and combat that – hopefully we can put a good performance in and get the three points.”

Pep Clotet: “It’s a very big game because they have similar standards in terms of what they want to do and how they want to play.

“We have had good performances away from home so far – even though we lost at Scunthorpe I believe we deserved much better and we played very well. I expect another very good game on Saturday.”

Kieran Agard (groin) could return for the Dons this weekend after a short lay-off while Peter Pawlett and Callum Brittain will be assessed.

Osman Sow (thigh) and Joe Walsh (knee) are sidelined, as is Chuks Aneke (hamstring), who will feature in a behind-closed-doors Under-23s match on Monday.

The Club are still awaiting EFL clearance for Deadline Day signings Scott Golbourne, Aidan Nesbitt and Alex Gilbey.

Oxford hope to have Brazilian left-back Ricardinho (back) available while captain Curtis Nelson is expected to be involved too despite his absence in midweek.

Midfielder Ivo Pekalski (knee) and defenders Charlie Raglan (ankle) and Sam Long (knee) remain out but Clotet could hand debuts to deadline-day signings John Mousinho and Alex Mowatt.

Dean Whitestone will be the man in the middle today.

The Northamptonshire official has refereed six matches this season and booked 14 players but he has yet to show his red card.

His last Dons appointment was the Sky Bet Championship clash with Brighton & Hove Albion in November 2015. That afternoon he showed four yellow cards.

He took charge of Oxford United much more recently, back in April for their League One fixture with Millwall at The Den – a day when he was forced to make just one caution.

The assistant referees this afternoon are Craig Taylor and Paul Hobday while the fourth official is Christopher O’Donnell.

Dons wins: 0
Dons wins at Stadium MK: 0
Last Dons win: N/A
Biggest Dons win: N/A

Draws: 1
Draws at Stadium MK: 1
Last draw: 0-0, 17 Sep 2016 (Stadium MK)

Oxford wins: 1
Oxford wins at Stadium MK: 0
Last Oxford win: 1-0, 11 Feb 2017 (Kassam Stadium)
Biggest Oxford win: 1-0, 11 Feb 2017 (Kassam Stadium)

Dons win – 7/5
Draw – 23/10
Oxford win – 19/10

First goalscorer
Kieran Agard – 4/1
Ryan Seager – 13/2
Robbie Muirhead – 13/2
Gboly Ariyibi – 8/1
No goalscorer – 15/2
Wes Thomas – 11/2
Gino Van Kessel – 6/1
Jonathan Obika – 13/2
Rob Hal – 9/1

Sky Bet tip
MK Dons to win to nil – 11/4

Gboly Ariyibi to score first and MK Dons to win 2-0 – 55/1

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 match for UK-based fans – 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’s Match Centre, which can be accessed by visiting the home page from 1.30pm.

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 straight after the final whistle.

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Match Reports

Report: MK Dons 1-1 Oxford United

Callum Brittain's superb strike earns Dons a point in entertaining encounter...

2 September 2017

MK Dons were forced to settle for a point after a strong performance against high-flying Oxford United at Stadium MK.

Former Don Rob Hall opened the scoring but that was cancelled out by Callum Brittain’s superb strike on the hour.

The men from MK1 dominated the game from then on in, however, they were unable to find the winner.

Robbie Neilson named Deadline Day signings Alex Gilbey and Scott Golbourne in his starting XI while fellow new recruit Aidan Nesbitt was on the substitutes’ bench.

The fixture started at a frenetic pace with both sides looking to try and exert their authority on things from the first whistle.

It was the visitors who did on eight minutes when, after some neat football on the edge of the Dons box, Hall curled home with a smart left-footed finish.

Shortly afterwards, Jon Obika forced Lee Nicholls into a save before James Henry fired wide from 20 yards while, at the other end, the Dons were finding it difficult to create chances after a lively start.

However, good work on 25 minutes from Gboly Ariyibi down the left created an opportunity for Ryan Seager but he saw his shot blocked from 12 yards.

That was followed by a purposeful run from Aaron Tshibola but, after a one-two with Pete Pawlett, he was crowded out on the byline.

The Dons were looking dangerous and Ed Upson found Pawlett, who subsequently picked out Tshibola although he wasn’t able to get enough on the cross as he stretched to meet the right-wing delivery.

Substitute Brittain almost made an immediate impact, skipping past two men before forcing a good save from Simon Eastwood – Seager was denied on the rebound.

Neilson’s men were dictating play with Gilbey and Upson in particular looking to unlock the U’s defence but the visitors held firm, to half-time at least anyway.

When the second half got going, the Dons were the side doing most of the running and Golbourne fired a dangerous cross across the box before shooting wide himself.

However, it was all hands on deck on 57 minutes when a ball into the box caused problems in the Dons box, but Tshibola was in the right place at the right time to clear.

The men from MK1 made their next foray forward count as Brittain cut in the right and sent a superb strike into the far corner from the edge of the area – a great way to score your first senior goal and draw the Dons level!

Nesbitt was introduced midway through the second half and he was involved as the Dons went forward on 70 minutes but the U’s cleared the danger.

He and fellow new boy Gilbey, who impressed on his debut, then came close to meeting Tshibola’s teasing cross from the right – the Dons were pushing for a winner.

The pressure was building and substitute Robbie Muirhead fired narrowly wide across Eastwood’s goal after being freed down the left-hand side.

A high-tempo and intensity was the key to the Dons’ improved display turning that into a second goal was still eluding them as the game went into the closing stages.

They were forced to do some defending for the first real time in the second half on 84 minutes and fortunately for the Dons, Jack Payne skied over when well placed.

The game was soon back at the other end once again and Muirhead saw a shot blocked before the visitors had to clear a delivery from Ariyibi, who then got in down the left but was denied as he looked for a team-mate.

Brittain sealed his man-of-the-match performance with two crucial bits of defending in the final two minutes of normal time – the second to get back and clear after Gino van Kessel had knocked the ball past Nicholls.

There was still time for two Dons chances – Gilbey couldn’t get enough on a left-wing cross before the energetic Golbourne curled over.

Starting XI: Nicholls; Williams (c), Ebanks-Landell (Brittain 35), Wootton, Golbourne; Gilbey, Tshibola; Pawlett (Nesbitt 67), Upson, Ariyibi; Seager (Muirhead 60).

Unused subs: Sietsma, Lewington, Cisse, Nombe.

Goal: Brittain (60).

Bookings: Upson

Attendance: 10,746 (2,924 Oxford United fans).

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