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Match Previews

Preview: Fleetwood Town

14 April 2015

The Dons travel to Fleetwood Town this evening, eager to maintain the pressure on second place in Sky Bet League 1.

Karl Robinson’s side, third in the table, are five points adrift of Preston North End, who occupy the final automatic promotion spot, with only five games remaining in the 2014/15 season – the Lilywhites host Gillingham at Deepdale tonight.

The men from MK1 can go into these final set of fixtures knowing a place in the play-offs is secured for the first time in three years – Robinson’s side made sure of a top-six finish by equalling Rochdale’s result on Saturday.

Despite their goalless draw on the weekend, the Dons also remain the league’s highest scorers having netted 81 times in 41 matches – they also recorded a 22nd clean-sheet in that 0-0 stalemate at Vale Park.

The opposition
Fleetwood sit just below the play-offs heading into tonight’s clash at the Highbury Stadium, five points behind sixth-placed Chesterfield.

The Cod Army have lost just twice in their last nine league outings, recording victories over the likes of Sheffield United and Rochdale, as well as holding promotion contenders Preston to a 1-1 draw late last month.

While their season tally of 45 goals scored is the fewer than all-but four of the sides in League 1, Fleetwood do boast one of the division’s meanest defences having conceded 45, which is less than everybody outside the top three except for Swindon Town and Walsall.

Graham Alexander’s men have proven especially tough to breach at home, where they have earned a league-high nine draws and conceded just 21 times – the third-best total in League 1.

View from the dugouts
Dons manager Karl Robinson: “Sometimes you have to wash your hands of games. A point (against Port Vale) was probably the right result, we didn’t do enough to win today. The players need to realise they’ve not played well, but we need to make sure we get it right on Tuesday.”

Fleetwood Town manager Graham Alexander: “We need to make sure we take the game to them as well and offer a threat. We didn’t do that last weekend but our previous home game we scored four goals and enjoyed a good victory."

Team news
The Dons are awaiting news on the extent of the knee injury Dean Lewington picked up in training last Friday – one which forced him to miss the draw with Port Vale.

If the skipper is unable to go, Robinson could continue with Joe Walsh while Lee Hodson is another option having deputised there earlier in the season.

Also, Samir Carruthers is suspended after picking up his 10th booking of the season at Vale Park. Carl Baker and Ben Reeves (both calf) remain the Dons’ definite injury absentees.

Fleetwood, meanwhile, go into the game without Jamille Matt and Danny Andrew, who are sidelined with long term injures.

Captain Mark Roberts also missed Saturday’s clash with Walsall and remains a doubt leading up to the game.

Head to head
The two sides will meet for only the second time this evening – the first-ever clash at Highbury Stadium.

The Dons and Fleetwood went head-to-head at stadiummk earlier this season, with Karl Robinson’s men coming out on top 2-1 thanks to goals from Kyle McFadzean and Benik Afobe.

Betting
Sky Bet
Result:
Fleetwood Town to win – 18/5
Draw – 13/5
MK Dons to win – 3/4

First goalscorer:
Will Grigg – 4/1
Dele Alli – 6/1
Liam McAlinden – 7/1
David Ball – 7/1
Rob Hall – 7/1
Jamie Proctor – 7/1

Scorecast:
Dele Alli to score first and MK Dons to win 2-1 – 30/1

Click here for a full list of odds!

All odds correct at time of writing

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