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Kick off 15:00 (UK)

2-1
28 September 2019 Venue Stadium of Light Attendance

Kick off 15:00 (UK)

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English Football League - League One

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Match Previews

Preview: Sunderland

All you need to know ahead of this afternoon's Sky Bet League One clash at the Stadium of Light...

27 September 2019

MK Dons return to Sky Bet League One action this afternoon as they take on Sunderland at the Stadium of Light in the first ever league meeting between the two sides.

Paul Tisdale’s men found themselves on the world stage in midweek when they faced Liverpool in the Carabao Cup in front of a Club-record crowd of 28,521 at Stadium MK.

Despite defeat, they put in a spirited performance against the Premier League leading Reds and can take plenty of confidence into today's encounter in Wearside.

They will be hoping that momentum can see them record their first league win in three games, following successive 1-0 defeats to Ipswich Town and Southend United last week at Stadium MK.

A victory at the Stadium of Light would make it back-to-back away victories for Tisdale and his side, who could climb as high as ninth with three points.

Kick-off is at 3pm.

THE OPPOSITION
Sunderland sit fifth in the Sky Bet League One entering this afternoon but, just like the Dons, are in search of their first league win in three matches.

The Black Cats have been held to successive draws by Rotherham United and Bolton Wanderers, which have kept them three points adrift of the automatic promotion places despite a start to the campaign in which they’ve won four times and lost only once.

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At the Stadium of Light, Jack Ross’ side are unbeaten and have conceded only four times. They have, though, only scored seven home goals, which ranks out as the second fewest total amongst sides in the top half of the table.

Chris Maguire and Aiden McGeady currently lead the way at the top of Sunderland’s scoring charts with four apiece. Lynden Gooch and Marc McNulty are just behind them on three goals while the Black Cats also have the likes of Charlie Wyke and Will Grigg to call upon in attack.

LAST TIME OUT
MK Dons bowed out of the Carabao Cup after a 2-0 defeat to Liverpool at Stadium MK, despite a spirited performance against the Premier League leading Reds.

Paul Tisdale’s men went close early on through Conor McGrandles before James Milner put Liverpool ahead with a long-range strike.

The Dons continued to create chances and saw Jordan Bowery denied at point-blank range by Caoimhin Kelleher.

It was the Reds, however, who would grab the second goal of the tie – Ki-Jana Hoever heading in from a Milner cross to secure the UEFA Champions League winners’ place in Round Four.

Sunderland pulled off a Carabao Cup upset on Wednesday evening as they beat Sheffield United 1-0 at Bramall Lane.

The Black Cats, who knocked out Burnley in the second round, scored the game's only goal just nine minutes in - an excellent 25-yard strike from Max Power.

Luke O’Nien hit the post early in the second half but it wouldn’t matter as Jack Ross’ side did enough to keep out the Blades and seal a memorable win.

FIGHTING TALK
Paul Tisdale: “We enjoyed [Liverpool], but we also are pretty aware that we lost the last two league games and we need to get ourselves back on track.

“They’re professional footballers - they played on a big stage here on Wednesday night and now they are going to Sunderland to play in a great stadium – they’ll be fine.”

Jack Ross: “As we know, teams enjoy coming to the Stadium of Light, but we have a record that which we should be proud of in the last 16 months, and we want to continue that.

“[MK Dons] have made a solid start to their return to this level, and we know how teams respond to coming here and playing in this environment, so it’s up to us to bring a similar type of performance to what we brought [against Sheffield United].”

TEAM NEWS
Paul Tisdale didn’t reveal any fresh injury concerns for MK Dons when he met with the media on Friday.

He did provide a positive update on Jordan Moore-Taylor [knee], who looks set to make a return to action in midweek against Fulham Under-21s, but it’s unlikely he’ll feature at the Stadium of the Light.

Baily Cargill [ankle], Rhys Healey [thigh], Joe Mason [hamstring] and Ben Reeves [leg] remain sidelined.

Sunderland have doubts over several players heading into this afternoon's encounter with the Dons.

Aiden McGeady, Jordan Willis and Lynden Gooch weren’t involved in midweek due to injury and Jack Ross was coy when asked about their fitness in his pre-match press conference.

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The Black Cats can add Elliot Embleton to the list too. He was came off injured during the Carabao Cup win at Sheffield United.

OFFICIALS
Paul Marsden will take charge of today's clash, refereeing the Dons for only the second time in his career.

He umpired the Sky Bet League Two clash with Grimsby Town at Blundell Park in January – an afternoon when he produced four yellow cards and one red.

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So far this term, Marsden has overseen eight matches and booked 22 players. He has yet to make a sending off but has awarded two penalties.

His assistant referees are Wayne Grunnill and Geoffrey Liddle while the fourth official is Samuel Barrott.

HEAD TO HEAD
Dons wins: 0

Draws: 0

Sunderland wins: 2
Sunderland wins at the Stadium of Light: 1
Last Sunderland win: 4-2, 27 Aug 2013 (Stadium of Light)
Biggest Sunderland win: 4-2, 27 Aug 2013 (Stadium of Light)

SKY BET ODDS
Dons win: 7/2
Draw: 14/5
Sunderland win: 4/6

Click HERE for more Sky Bet odds!

ELSEWHERE IN SKY BET LEAGUE ONE
Blackpool v Lincoln City
Bristol Rovers v Rotherham United
Coventry City v Doncaster Rovers
Ipswich Town v Tranmere Rovers
Oxford United v Gillingham
Peterborough United v AFC Wimbledon
Portsmouth v Bolton Wanderers
Rochdale v Wycombe Wanderers
Shrewsbury Town v Fleetwood Town
Southend United v Accrington Stanley

FOLLOW IT LIVE
Tickets, which can now only be bought at the Stadium of Light, are priced at £20 adults, £17 seniors, £12 under-22s and £7 under-16s.

Those just wishing to purchase adult tickets can pay at cash turnstile 27 while those requiring concessions or wanting to pay with card can purchase from the Box Office.

Can't make the match? Not to worry, supporters will be able to listen to live commentary on iFollow MK Dons for just £2.50 - click HERE to purchase an Audio Match Pass!

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 2pm.

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 three hours after the final whistle.

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Match Reports

Report: Sunderland 2-1 MK Dons

Jordan Bowery on target in away defeat...

28 September 2019

Two first-half goals from Sunderland saw MK Dons beaten 2-1 at the Stadium of Light.

Max Power and Luke O’Nien struck within four minutes of each other and despite Jordan Bowery’s second-half finish, Paul Tisdale’s men weren’t able to salvage a result to take back to Milton Keynes.

The defeat, MK Dons’ third in a row in league format, keeps them in 15th place in the Sky Bet League One table, seven points adrift of the play-off places albeit with a game in hand.

Boss Tisdale made four changes to the side which played Liverpool in midweek, with Lee Nicholls, Dean Lewington, Russell Martin and Jordan Houghton all returning to the starting XI. There was a place on the bench for Jordan Moore-Taylor – his first appearance in a matchday squad since January.

The Dons made a composed start but it was Sunderland who threatened first as Charlie Wyke raced through. Lee Nicholls, though, was quick off his line and managed to save at the striker’s feet before George Williams cleared the loose ball.

On nine minutes, Sam Nombe got behind the Sunderland backline but wasn’t able to connect with Bowery, who was lurking inside the six-yard box. Shortly after, Callum Brittain delivered a low ball into the area but it was behind both Bowery and Alex Gilbey.

Brittain found himself inside the Sunderland area on the quarter hour mark but his low cross was turned behind for what turned out to be successive corners, which the home side dealt with.

Some good play by the Dons’ number 25 moments later led to an opportunity for Gilbey, whose header was blocked by a defender on its way through to goal.

At the other end, a well-worked corner presented a chance for Power, however he saw his drive blocked by Regan Poole.

The Sunderland midfielder had another opportunity seconds later and that time, made no mistake, firing home a first-time strike into the top left-hand corner from all of 25-yards. 1-0.

With their tails up, the hosts went on the attack again and Luke O’Nien hit the crossbar with a near-post header. Martin then threw himself in the way of another Power drive before Nicholls denied O’Nien from point-blank range from the resulting corner.

Sunderland pressure told on the half-hour mark as they doubled their lead through O’Nien, who beat the offside trap set by the Dons before sending a lob over Nicholls, one which managed to find its way across the line despite Poole’s best efforts to keep it out. 2-0.

Things went from bad to worse for Tisdale as Houghton was forced off with an injury shortly after the re-start. He was replaced by David Kasumu with 10 minutes to play in the half.

His side almost found themselves 3-0 down a couple of minutes later but Williams was fortunate that his miss-placed pass wasn’t punished by Chris Maguire, who dragged his left-footed shot just wide.

The Dons then responded with Gilbey intercepting a pass in the middle of the park before driving forward with purpose. It led to a chance for him to deliver a cross but it was just behind Nombe and Sunderland were able to clear.

Gilbey had another opportunity in the third minute of first-half stoppage time but saw his low drive towards the near corner kept out by a diving Jon McLaughlin.

At the start of the second half, Maguire curled over from a well-placed free-kick. Nicholls then denied Power with a diving save to his left.

The Dons then got the goal their play at the end of the first half deserved as Bowery converted from close-range. Kasumu created it with a ball deep to Williams, who looped a header back into the mix for Bowery to force home. 2-1.

In response, Sunderland forced a corner but from it, Maguire dragged an 18-yard effort wide. The Dons countered with Gilbey, who carried the ball all the way into the Sunderland area from half-way before seeing his low left-footed shot kept out by McLaughlin.

Tisdale’s men kept the pressure on and with 60 minutes on the clock, Kasumu curled over from the edge of the area. Tisdale then made his second substitution of the afternoon, replacing Bowery with Agard in attack.

Sunderland threatened a third goal with both Maguire and Power having attempts on goal – the former blazing over when well-placed inside the Dons’ penalty area.

Nombe appeared to have an opportunity on the edge of the six-yard box on 67 minutes but he wasn’t able to get a foot to Williams’ header into the mix. Agard then got in behind the Sunderland backline but was forced wide by the goalkeeper.

Both Gilbey and Kasumu had efforts blocked from the resulting corner, while the latter sent another long-range strike over shortly afterwards.

Tisdale’s final change arrived with just under 13 minutes play as Boateng brought on in place of Gilbey.

His team continued to press and push for a leveller but Sunderland stood firm. Dangerous balls were sent in from both flanks but the ball just never fell for men in yellow, as they fell to their third straight league defeat.

Starting XI: Nicholls, Williams, Lewington, Poole, Gilbey (Boateng 78), Bowery (Agard 61), Martin, McGrandles, Houghton (Kasumu 34), Brittain, Nombe.

Unused subs: Moore, Dickenson, Moore-Taylor, Harley.

Goal: Bowery (55)

Booked: Kasumu, Martin, Lewington

Sunderland: J McLaughlin, C McLaughlin, Lynch, Willis (c), Power, Maguire, McGeouch (Hume 64), Wyke (Grigg 81), Gooch (Dobson 90+4), O’Nien, De Bock.

Unused subs: Burge, Ozturk, Flanagan, Leadbitter.

Goals: Power (24), O’Nien (29)

Booked: O’Nien, Power, Maguire

Referee: P Marsden

Attendance: 29,952 (455 away)

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