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16 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: Rochdale

All you need to know ahead of today's clash at Stadium MK...

16 September 2017

MK Dons will be looking to bounce back from their midweek disappointment when they take on Rochdale this afternoon at Stadium MK.

Robbie Neilson’s side were beaten for the first time in four games on Tuesday, losing 2-0 to Peterborough United at the ABAX Stadium. The defeated followed a 1-0 victory over Plymouth Argyle – the side’s second league triumph of the 2017/18 campaign.

The aim for the men from MK1 today will be to return to winning ways and they’ll have confidence in doing so, given the team’s strong record against Saturday’s opponents from Greater Manchester – they have won five of the last seven meetings and not been beaten in eight matches.

A win may also see Neilson & Co climb into the top half of the Sky Bet League One table for the first time in 2017/18 – they currently trail 12th-placed Bristol Rovers by two points, with Portsmouth and Walsall both just one point ahead in between.

Kick-off is at 3pm.

Rochdale put an end to their winless start to the Sky Bet League One season by beating Doncaster Rovers on Tuesday evening.

Dale were one of only three teams in the division without a victory to their name heading into the aforementioned midweek match, having drawn three and lost three of their opening six fixtures.

Away from home, Keith Hill’s team have collected just one point, while conceding five goals and scoring twice. They’ve only netted six times in total this campaign, with four of those coming courtesy of striker Steve Davies (pictured).

The Dons were unable to make it back-to-back league wins as they fell to a 2-0 defeat at Peterborough United.

After an even first half where both sides cancelled each other out, Posh went ahead courtesy of Ryan Tafazolli’s 47th-minute header.

The hosts’ lead was doubled just six minutes later with Marcus Maddison finding the net from the edge of the area.

Neilson’s men had chances late on to reduce the arrears but Scott Gilbey, Osman Sow and Scott Wootton were unable to find a way past Jonathan Bond in the Peterborough goal.

Rochdale scored twice in stoppage-time to secure their first league victory of the campaign.

Striker Steven Davies missed an early penalty for Dale, who fell behind on 74 minutes as John Marquis tapped in after Andy Williams’ shot had hit the post.

Davies and Joe Rafferty both went close to equalising within regulation time but it took until the second minute of injury time for Mark Kitching to level things up with a dipping effort from distance.

The Greater Manchester side weren’t happy to settle for a point, however, and two minutes later they claimed all three points through Davies’ dramatic close-range winner.

Robbie Neilson: “If you want to be at the top end of the table you must win football matches. We’re not going to win game every but, if we have a setback, we need to make sure we respond well and get ourselves going again by being resilient and putting on a performance.”

Keith Hill: “It’ll be a difficult game against MK Dons. They’re well managed, it’s a good football club, and a team that you would expect to be challenging for the Championship.”

The Dons are still without a number of key players but Chuks Aneke’s return is a positive for manager Neilson.

Joe Walsh (knee), Ethan Ebanks-Landell (foot), Ed Upson (hip) and Peter Pawlett (knee) are all sidelined although none of the quartet are expected to be out long term.

Aneke, meanwhile, should be included in the matchday squad once again, after completing 60 minutes in an Under-23s match on Wednesday. The attacking midfielder, who hasn’t played a competitive match since February, won’t start but could be an option off the bench for Neilson.

Rochdale are missing forward Ian Henderson, who completes a three-match ban for a red card he received earlier this month.

Joe Bunney (knee) made it through his comeback match in midweek unscathed and should continue in the starting line-up for Dale, who don’t appear to have any other injury concerns.

Gavin Ward is the man taking charge of today’s match, refereeing the Dons for the first time since November last year – that game, Ward booked five players as the men from MK1 were beaten 3-2 by Chesterfield at Stadium MK.

A month prior to that was the Surrey official’s last Rochdale appointment – their 3-0 loss to Swindon Town at The County Ground. He produced six yellow cards in that midweek match, as well as dismissing Dale striker Joe Bunney.

So far this season, Ward has officiated seven matches and shown 22 yellow cards. He has yet to brandish the red card in 2017/18.

The assistant referees are Marvyn Amphlett and Ian Smedley while the fourth official is Dumitru Cheosiaua.

Dons wins: 6
Dons wins at Stadium MK: 2
Last Dons win: 1-0, 20 Aug 2016 (Crown Oil Arena)
Biggest Dons win: 4-1, 5 Mar 2011 (Crown Oil Arena)

Draws: 3
Draws at Stadium MK: 3
Last draw: 2-2, 11 Mar 2017 (Stadium MK)

Dale wins: 3
Dale wins at Stadium MK: 1
Last Dale win: 1-0, 26 Jan 2008 (Stadium MK)
Biggest Dale win: 5-0, 27 Jan 2007 (Crown Oil Arena)

Result
Dons win – 23/20
Draw – 12/5
Rochdale win – 23/10

First goalscorer
Kieran Agard – 9/2
Osman Sow – 11/2
Ryan Seager – 11/2
Gboly Ariyibi – 7/1
No goalscorer – 10/1
Steve Davies – 5/1
Matt Done – 13/2
Jordan Slew – 15/2
Joe Bunney – 12/1

Scorecast
Chuks Aneke to score first and MK Dons to win 1-0 – 35/1

*all odds correct at the time of writing

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

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 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 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 Rochdale are priced at £22 adults, £17 over-65s/under-21 and £7 under-18s while under-12s go FREE*. Supporters can upgrade their ticket to East Centre or clubRed for a small premium.

Members are entitled to a discount on tickets while there is a reduced rate available for groups of 20 or more – click here for more details on Group Tickets at Stadium MK!

To book tickets click here, visit the Box Office at Stadium MK or call 0333 200 5343. Tickets can also be bought from cash-only booths around Stadium MK from 1pm. Tickets will be available to buy right up until kick-off, although online sales will cease at 12.30pm.

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Match Reports

Report: MK Dons 3-2 Rochdale

Dons win five-goal thriller at Stadium MK...

16 September 2017

MK Dons overcame Rochdale in a five-goal thriller at Stadium MK on Saturday afternoon.

Two fine strikes from man-of-the-match Gboly Ariyibi - the second from 25 yards - cancelled out Brad Inman’s early opener.

Matt Done pulled the visitors level before the break but the Dons pushed on in the second half and got their reward late on when Ryan Seager finished a good move.

Robbie Neilson made four changes for the visit of Dale – Ed Upson, Aidan Nesbitt, Gboly Ariyibi and Osman Sow returned to the starting XI.

After an even opening, the visitors went ahead on eight minutes when Inman controlled and fired home a fine finish from the edge of the area, giving Lee Nicholls no chance.

The Dons were back on level terms within five minutes, though, Ariyibi smashing home 12 yards after Sow’s cross had made it all the way to the far post.

That goal lifted the men from MK1, who began to look brighter as the game ticked towards the midway point of the first half.

Shortly afterwards, a burst from Callum Brittain won a corner, which was recycled and led to Ariyibi forcing a save from Brendan Moore from a tight angle.

Neilson’s side were now much more a threat and Ariyibi saw a cross turned behind before Alex Gilbey tried an acrobatic effort from a Nesbitt corner.

Dons’ No.7 scored a stunning second to hand the hosts the lead for the first time, receiving the ball from Nesbitt, nutmegging his marker and then rifling a 25-yard effort into the top right-hand corner.

However, the Dons were only in front for a minute as Done turned home at the second attempt after Nicholls had initially parried his close-range effort.

As the half-time whistle approached, a brilliant run and cut-back from Brittain set up Sow, who flicked it goalwards but it was comfortably saved by Moore.

Sow was again picked out at the start of the second period but he couldn’t get enough on Ariyibi’s cross from the right.

The latter continued to threaten, terrorising the visitors’ defence and asking questions when he got into dangerous positions.

Aaron Tshibola saw a shot deflected narrowly wide while, at the other end, Nicholls got down very well away to his right to push Steven Davies’ free-kick around the post.

Davies forced Nicholls into another save three minutes later when he directed Kgosi Ntlhe’s cross goalwards from close range.

As well as battling each other, the two teams were battling the conditions as the game ticked past the hour mark – the rain was coming down very heavily and lightning was threatening.

As the weather eased so did the chances with the next one not arriving until 74 minutes but Sow slipped as he prepared to shoot following a clever flick-on from substitute Kieran Agard.

Sow certainly didn’t slip a couple of minutes later when he gathered a pass and let fly from 20 yards, the shot going narrowly over the top of Moore’s bar as the Dons looked to regain the lead.

Dale and Davies threatened on the counter at the other end when the striker drove down the left and fired an effort off target as the game entered the final 10 minutes.

Two substitutes combined with six minutes remaining to restore the Dons’ lead in style – Ousseynou Cisse perfectly picked out Seager, who held off two defenders before finishing with aplomb.

The latter linked up with Sow in the final minute of normal time but after latching on to his flick-on, he couldn’t get enough power on his shot.

Seager’s first league goal proved to be the difference as the Dons made it two wins from three.

Starting XI: Nicholls; Brittain, Williams (c), Wootton, Golbourne; Upson (Cisse 70); Ariyibi, Gilbey, Tshibola (Agard 62), Nesbitt (Seager 69); Sow.

Unused subs: Sietsma, Lewington, McGrandles, Muirhead.

Goals: Ariyibi (13 & 41), Seager (84).

Attendance: 7,670 (261 Dale fans).

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