MK Dons will be looking to make it four straight wins to start the 2018/19 season when they travel to Crewe Alexandra this afternoon in their third Sky Bet League Two game of the season.
Paul Tisdale’s men have started the new campaign in strong fashion, following up a 2-1 opening-day triumph over Oldham Athletic by beating Bury 1-0 at Stadium MK last weekend before overcoming Charlton Athletic 3-0 in Round One of the Carabao Cup.
The focus now shifts back to league football, with Crewe Alexandra today's opposition. It will be the first time the two sides have met at the Alexandra Stadium since 2015.
Kick-off is at 3pm.
Crewe started their season in emphatic fashion as they overcame Morecambe 6-0 on the opening day of the season. Both Alex Nicholls and James Jones scored braces for David Artell’s side, with Charlie Kirk and Chris Porter also on the scoresheet that afternoon.
The Alex were unable to make it two wins from two the following weekend as Newport County’s Padraig Amond scored the only goal in a 1-0 win over Crewe last Saturday. Crewe manager Artell has been at the helm since 2017 and guided the Club to a 17th place finish last season.
MK Dons’ matches with Crewe Alexandra are usually entertaining ones. In seven of the nine previous meetings between the two clubs, two or more goals have been scored and with both teams in scoring form at the start of this season, the arrow is certainly pointing towards another exciting encounter this afternoon.
MK Dons maintained their 100 percent start to the 2018/19 season by comfortably beating Sky Bet League One side Charlton Athletic in Round One of the Carabao Cup.
Dylan Asonganyi scored his first senior goal early in the first half and that was followed by Ryan Watson’s first goal in an MK Dons shirt.
Paul Tisdale’s men then added to their lead in the second half courtesy of an own goal, securing their third consecutive victory and their ninth successive Carabao Cup Round One win.
Crewe Alexandra suffered penalty heartache as their Carabao Cup against Fleetwood Town was decided by spot kicks following a 1-1 draw. James Jones and Perry Ng missed their penalties for Crewe.
Although Crewe keeper David Richards made a fine stop himself to deny Harrison Biggins, the Fleetwood substitute Ashley Hunter kept his composure to roll the winning penalty past the Richards Alexandra goalkeeper to put Fleetwood in the hat for the Round Two.
Crewe had taken the lead in the first half thanks to a Ryan Wintle goal but Joey Barton’s side hit back early in the second half through substitute Jason Holt.
Paul Tisdale: “Just looking at their [Crewe] performances so far, you can't help but to sit up and pay attention to their 6-0 win over Morecambe.
"They have a bit of thrust about them, they have a dynamic front line, they still have a core football value and it will be a tough challenge."
David Artell: "MK Dons have started the season well under Paul [Tisdale] and we know they are the favourites to win the league.
“It should be a very good game and although it will be tough, it is the ones we should relish the most. It will be a good challenge for us."
MK Dons came through Tuesday’s clash with Charlton unscathed and have no fresh injury concerns heading to Alexandra Stadium.
In his pre-match press conference, Paul Tisdale confirmed that Conor McGrandles [eye] and Peter Pawlett [ankle] will both miss Saturdays’ clash with Crewe as they will be unavailable for an extended period of time.
Elsewhere, Osman Sow [knee], Brandon Thomas-Asante [ankle] and Sam Nombe [ankle] will also miss Saturday’s game but Tisdale is hopeful they'll return before the end of the month.
Artell told crewealex.net that Shaun Miller has made a successful return to training after missing the opening three games of the season with a knee injury, while Chris Porter and George Ray will be hopeful of recovering from their respective injuries having missed the last two fixtures.
Robert Lewis will run the rule over today’s clash as he takes charge of his third match of the season.
The vastly experienced referee has so far issued eight yellow cards this season, while he is yet to brandish a red.
Coincidently, Lewis’ last MK Dons match was the Club’s 1-0 win over Crewe back in 2013 – that day he booked three players.
His assistant referees this afternoon are Christopher Ward and Mark Cunliffe while the fourth official is Matthew Smith.
MK Dons wins: 4
MK Dons wins at Alexandra Stadium: 1
Last MK Dons win: 5-0, 31st Jan 2015 (Alexandra Stadium)
Biggest MK Dons win: 6-1, 20th Sep 2014 (Stadium MK)
Draws at Alexandra Stadium: 1
Last Draw: 2-2, 24th Mar 2009 (Stadium MK)
Crewe wins: 3
Crewe wins at Alexandra Stadium: 3
Last Crewe win: 2-0, 21st Jan 2014 (Alexandra Stadium)
Biggest Crewe win: 2-0, 21st Jan 2014 (Alexandra Stadium)
Sky Bet Tip
MK Dons to win and BTTS: 9/2
Tickets are priced at £22 adults, £17 seniors, £10.50 under-17s and £6.50 under-11s.
Tickets can now only be bought from the away ticket office at the Alexandra Stadium, which opens at 12pm.
Supporters currently outside the UK and Ireland can watch the match LIVE with an iFollow MK Dons International Pass or by purchasing an International Match Pass – click HERE for more information!
iFollow MK Dons will have also live commentary of the game for UK and Ireland-based fans – click HERE to sign up for as little as £4.49 for a month.
Supporters can also stay in touch with the action 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 along with full reaction from Paul Tisdale and a player. Highlights will be available to view from midnight.
Elsewhere in Sky Bet League Two…
Friday 17th August
Notts County 0-4 Yeovil Town
Saturday 18th August
Grimsby Town v Lincoln City
Bury v Forest Green Rovers
Cheltenham Town v Carlisle United
Exeter City v Newport County
Mansfield Town v Colchester United
Northampton Town v Cambridge United
Oldham Athletic v Macclesfield Town
Port Vale v Crawley Town
Stevenage v Morecambe
Swindon Town v Tranmere Rovers