MK Dons welcome Fleetwood Town to Stadium MK this weekend looking to secure an important three points in Sky Bet League One.
Liam Manning’s men arrested a run of successive defeats at home with a 1-1 draw to Burton Albion last Saturday but know they need to start picking up victories if they are to climb out of the bottom four.
Currently 22nd, the Dons are five points adrift of Cambridge United in 20th but will hope a win on Saturday will see them move closer to safety – while still holding a game in hand on most teams in the division.
Kick-off is at 3pm.
Fleetwood Town sit three places above the bottom four in Sky Bet League One but arrive at Stadium MK with just one defeat in their last eight competitive matches.
That said, the Cod Army are winless in four when it comes to league football, though one of those was an impressive 1-1 draw away at Ipswich Town - nobody has drawn more Sky Bet League One matches this season than Fleetwood.
Scott Brown’s side have been hard to beat throughout the 2022/23 campaign, particularly away from home where they have suffered just two defeats.
They also have a positive goal difference having scored 21 times compared to their 20 conceded. Carlos Mendes-Gomes is their leading marksmen with six goals to his name while forwards Paddy Lane, Ged Garner and Joe Garner have each contributed three times.
LAST TIME OUT
MK Dons scored a late equaliser to rescue a point and draw 1-1 with Burton Albion at Stadium MK.
Victor Adeboyejo put the Brewers ahead just before the half-hour mark, converting from the penalty spot after Josh McEachran was adjudged to have brought down Corrie Nbada.
The Dons, who felt aggrieved that Burton weren’t reduced to 10 men in the second half, battled back and scored a deserved leveller – Johnson heading home from Dawson Devoy’s corner with six minutes to play.
Fleetwood Town held promotion-chasing Ipswich Town to a 1-1 draw at Portman Road.
Favourites Ipswich made the best possible start when Luke Woolfenden poked home from Leif Davis’ corner after just two minutes of action.
Fleetwood, however, kept themselves in the game and with six minutes of added time played, they found an equaliser through Cain Hayes, whose deflected effort beat Christian Walton. The Cod Army were then reduced to 10 men in stoppage time – Josh Earl dismissed with a straight red card.
Liam Manning: "We'll do everything we can to win tomorrow, that's what everyone wants, but the biggest bit is understanding how to do it - that's by stepping up and earning the right to do what we have to do.
"The lads are working as hard as they can, and it wouldn't be any different if we were elsewhere in the league. Whether we're at home or away, a perceived big club, we go into it with the same mindset."
Steven Whittaker: “We are a little bit surprised where they are in the league. They’re a side who play good football and keep possession so we will have to be really disciplined in what we are doing and when we don’t have the ball.
“We are expecting a tough game and we know if we aren’t working together, it could become a really tough afternoon. We know their strengths and weaknesses and what they’re capable of doing.”
MK Dons were without Dean Lewington last weekend and it remains to be seen whether their captain can return from injury in time for Saturday’s game.
Darragh Burns is another injury concern for Liam Manning after limping out of the 1-1 draw with Burton Albion. Daniel Harvie and Josh McEachran who picked up knocks last Saturday but Manning as optimistic on their status’ in his post-match interview.
JJ Kayode (knee) remains sidelined.
Fleetwood Town won’t have defender Josh Earl available this weekend due to suspension, after he was sent off in their 1-1 draw with Ipswich Town.
Paddy Lane appeared to be substituted through injury in last weekend’s game at Portman Road, though early indications were that it was nothing serious.
Martin Coy has been appointed match referee for Saturday’s game at Stadium MK.
The Durham-based official has taken charge of nine games so far this season, producing 30 yellow cards and two red cards. He has also awarded four penalties.
His last Dons appointment was back in April when he oversaw the 2-0 victory over Shrewsbury Town at Stadium MK. That day he booked five players – all from the visiting side.
Coy’s assistant referees are Anthony Da Costa and Declan Ford while the fourth official is James Vallance.
HEAD TO HEAD
MK Dons wins: 5
MK Dons wins at Stadium MK: 3
Last MK Dons win: 3-1, 19 Jan 2021 (Stadium MK)
Biggest MK Dons win: 4-1, 24 Sep 2016 (Highbury Stadium)
Draws at Stadium MK: 1
Last draw: 1-1, 8 Feb 2022 (Highbury Stadium)
Fleetwood Town wins: 2
Fleetwood Town wins at Stadium MK: 1
Last Fleetwood Town win: 1-0, 26 Oct 2019 (Highbury Stadium)
Biggest Fleetwood Town win: 1-0, 26 Oct 2019 (Highbury Stadium); 1-0, 18 Feb 2017 (Stadium MK)
ELSEWHERE IN SKY BET LEAGUE ONE
Ipswich Town v Peterborough United, 12.30pm
Shrewsbury Town v Bolton Wanderers, 12.30pm
Burton Albion v Derby County, 2pm
Forest Green Rovers v Cheltenham Town, 2pm
Accrington Stanley v Portsmouth
Bristol Rovers v Port Vale
Cambridge United v Plymouth Argyle
Exeter City v Sheffield Wednesday
Lincoln City v Wycombe Wanderers
Morecambe v Charlton Athletic
Oxford United v Barnsley
FOLLOW IT LIVE
Tickets are priced from £24 adults, £18 over-65s, £12 under-25s and £6 under-18s while under-12s and under-7s tickets are priced from £3. Upgrades are available to East Centre and Club Red. Ticket prices will increase by £2 on the day of the game.
To book tickets CLICK HERE, visit the Box Office at Stadium MK or call 01908 622933. Tickets will be available to buy right up until kick-off from the Box Office.
Can't make the game? Watch the action LIVE on iFollow MK Dons with a Video Match Pass - CLICK HERE to purchase a Video Match Pass for £10!
Live text updates will also be provided on the Match Centre as well as Twitter, while a full report will be available to read shortly after the full-time whistle. Post-match reaction and highlights will follow after.