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Kick off 15:00 (UK)

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09 September 2017 Venue Home Park Attendance

Kick off 15:00 (UK)

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English Football League - League One

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Preview: Plymouth Argyle

All you need to know ahead of today's clash a Home Park...

9 September 2017

MK Dons will be hoping it’s a case of third time lucky when they take on Plymouth Argyle this afternoon.

The men from MK1 are in search of their first away league victory of the campaign while they are also looking to register their first win over the Pilgrims in three attempts.

Robbie Neilson’s side go into the match with real confidence after a positive week at Stadium MK, during which they won their Checkatrade Trophy opener and were, perhaps, unlucky not to beat Oxford United.

It certainly appears as though the Dons are beginning to turn the corner and three points in Devon today would certainly continue that upward momentum.

Kick-off is at 3pm.

Plymouth, back in the third tier this season after six years in League Two, sit on the same points as the Dons after the first five games of the campaign.

The Pilgrims started 2017/18 with a 2-1 loss away at Peterborough United but responded by defeating Charlton Athletic at Home Park and then holding Southend United to a draw in Essex.

Derek Adams’ team go into this match on the back of two defeats – a 4-0 loss at home to Scunthorpe United and a 2-1 reverse at Walsall – so they’ll be eager to respond and get back to winning ways in front of their home supporters.

In order to do that, though, they must tighten up at the back – their total of nine conceded is more than all-but four teams in the division.

A strong second-half display saw the Dons fight back from a goal down to draw 1-1 with Oxford United at Stadium MK last Saturday.

Neilson’s men fell behind in the eighth minute when former Don Rob Hall finished off a neat attacking move with a curling shot into the bottom left corner of Lee Nicholls’ goal.

The Dons responded and on the hour mark they restored parity – Callum Brittain the scorer, firing home a left-footed shot from 20 yards.

Robbie Muirhead and Scott Golbourne had chances to win it late on for the men from MK1, who certainly ended the contest as the strongest team.

Plymouth slipped to successive defeats with a 2-1 loss away at Walsall last weekend.

Saddlers loanee Daniel Agyei put his side ahead on 23 minutes with a header from Luke Leahy’s cross.

Jamie Ness almost levelled for the Pilgrims but Erhun Oztumer was able to double Walsall’s advantage with nine minutes to go.

Graham Carey reduced the deficit in the 86th minute but it wasn’t enough for Plymouth, who will be looking to avoid a third-straight loss against the Dons at the weekend.

Robbie Neilson: “Saturday will be a tough game. It’s always difficult down there because they’ve got a really good support and they've got a good home record.

“We expect to go down there and put on a good performance – if we do that hopefully we will win.”

Derek Adams: “They played particularly well in the second half against Oxford. They changed their formation and they did a lot better and were able to get the equaliser.

“They have experience throughout the side. They have a good side, but so do we, and we are looking forward to it – it should be a good game.”

Strikers Osman Sow (thigh) and Kieran Agard (groin) are back in contention after training fully this week.

Chuks Aneke (hamstring) is edging closer after returning to match action for the Under-23s in midweek but won’t feature against Argyle.

Ethan Ebanks-Landell (foot) is a doubt too for Neilson while Joe Walsh (knee) is expected to be out for a further two weeks.

Plymouth are without forward Ryan Taylor (ankle) and defender Oscar Threlkeld (leg) as well as midfielder Antoni Sarcevic, who is suspended.

Otherwise, the Pilgrims have everyone else available for selection including goalkeeper Kyle Letheren who signed for the Home Park club on Wednesday.

Charles Breakspear will be the man in the middle today.

The Surrey official last took charge of the Dons 11 months ago – Breakspear refereed the Sky Bet League One fixture with Southend United in October 2016, producing four yellow cards that afternoon.

His last Plymouth appointment – the Pilgrims’ Sky Bet League Two clash against Wycombe Wanderers back in March during which he made five bookings – also came during the 2016/17 campaign.

So far this season, Breakspear has officiated seven matches and produced his yellow card 26 times. He has, though, made just one dismissal.

This afternoon's assistant referees are Justin Amey and Robert Dabbs while the fourth official is Mark Derrien.

Dons wins: 0
Dons wins at Home Park: 0
Last Dons win: N/A
Biggest Dons win: N/A

Draws: 0
Draws at Home Park: 0
Last draw: N/A

Plymouth wins: 2
Plymouth wins at Home Park: 1
Last Plymouth win: 1-0, 25 Apr 2011 (Home Park)
Biggest Plymouth win: 3-1, 18 Jan 2011 (Stadium MK)

Result
Dons win – 6/4
Draw – 23/10
Plymouth win – 9/5

First goalscorer
Kieran Agard – 4/1
Osman Sow – 11/2
Ryan Seager – 13/2
Gboly Ariyibi – 8/1
No goalscorer – 9/1
Graham Carey – 11/2
Nadir Ciftci – 6/1
Jake Jervis – 6/1
Nathan Blissett – 7/1

Scorecast
Osman Sow to score first and MK Dons to win 2-0 – 45/1

Sky Bet tip
Exactly two goals to be scored – 9/4

*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 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 mkdons.com straight after the final whistle.

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Match Reports

Report: Plymouth Argyle 0-1 MK Dons

Success by the seaside for the men from MK1...

9 September 2017

A professional performance saw MK Dons record an opening away win of the season at Plymouth Argyle.

Aidan’s Nesbitt ninth-minute goal on his first start for Robbie Neilson’s side ultimately proved the difference but the Dons also had to stand firm at the other end to take the points.

After impressing last weekend, Callum Brittain was handed his inaugural league start while Nesbitt started his first game for the Dons and Osman Sow returned to the starting XI after recovering from a thigh injury.

The hosts started on the front foot with both David Fox and Jake Jervis firing efforts over the top in the opening minutes, the second of which was 12 yards out following a Graham Carey free-kick.

Ousseynou Cisse, back in the side, freed Sow down the left but, after some nice footwork, the striker was crowded out before Brittain showed good tenacity down the opposite flank.

Brittain was at it again on nine minutes and it proved to be crucial as his delivery was controlled and brilliantly smashed home at the back post by Nesbitt – his first Dons goal.

Carey shot off target, Gary Sawyer saw an effort blocked by Brittain and Scott Golbourne picked up a great position to head away under his own crossbar as the game approached the 20-minute mark.

The Dons were handling things relatively comfortably at the back while, at the other end, Alex Gilbey dragged a strike not too far past the post after a swift counter attack.

That was followed up by another good move by the Dons, which ended with Gboly Ariyibi directing Golbourne’s cut-back narrowly wide of the right-hand upright.  

Argyle came within inches of an equaliser midway through the half but Nadir Ciftci’s 25-yard free-kick came back off the crossbar.

Sow almost marked his return with a stunning goal on 27 minutes although, after superbly making room for himself, his fierce drive was just wide of the target.

More good work from Dons’ No.9 helped create shooting chances for Ariyibi and Nesbitt, who both were denied by blocks – the men from MK1 were looking strong.

They were forced to do some defending on 32 minutes but Golbourne was once again in the right place to clear away the danger six yards out.

Plymouth were reduced to 10 men on 33 minutes when Carey was shown a straight red card for a very late challenge on Ariyibi down this near touchline.

The Dons saw out the half but they were grateful on 43 minutes to Lee Nicholls, who was out of his goal quickly to deny Ciftci after he had been picked out over the top. Brittain was on hand to help fully clear the danger with a strong challenge on Jervis.

Neilson’s side started the second half in a controlled manner, enjoying the majority of possession while also comfortably keeping their opponents at bay.

Their first chance of the final 45 fell to Ariyibi, who curled an effort narrowly wide of the far post from the apex of the 18-yard box.

Argyle threatened on the hour mark when Ryan Edwards headed goalwards but Nicholls was able to watch the effort past his left-hand post.

The Dons were dominating the ball but they had a huge let-off midway through the second half when Joel Grant shot over from close range after being picked out by Jamie Ness.

Shortly afterwards, substitute Alex Fletcher headed over Sawyer’s left-wing cross under pressure from Scott Wootton before Brittain denied Grant’s delivery picking out a team-mate.

Plymouth were enjoying their best spell of pressure as the game entered the final 15 minutes but the Dons were making it difficult for them to create anything clear-cut, with an off-target Edwards header  the closest they came during that time.

However, Sonny Bradley should have levelled matters with five minutes remaining but he glanced his header wide inside the six-yard box.

Some resolute defending saw the Dons manage the rest of normal time and the six minutes of injury-time to claim a first away win, sending the 211 Dons fans home happy.

Starting XI: Nicholls; Brittain, Wootton, Williams (c), Golbourne; Cisse, Nesbitt (Agard 82), Upson (McGrandles 16), Gilbey, Ariyibi; Sow (Muirhead 77).

Unused subs: Sietsma, Lewington, Thomas-Asante, Seager.

Goal: Nesbitt (9).

Bookings: Williams, Sow, Muirhead, Cisse.

Attendance: 8,566 (211 MK Dons fans).

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