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Match Previews

Preview: Scunthorpe United

7 April 2015

The Dons will be looking to secure a fourth straight league victory for the first time since 2012 when they take on Scunthorpe United at stadiummk.

Karl Robinson’s side, who downed promotion rivals Swindon Town on Easter Saturday to make it three triumphs on the bounce, haven’t won four successive league matches since they beat, ironically, Scunthorpe, Leyton Orient, Sheffield United and Tranmere Rovers between October and November 2012.

Saturday’s victory at Swindon saw the Dons move into third place in Sky Bet League 1 and maintain the pressure on Preston North End, who occupy the final automatic promotion spot.

The Lilywhites, however, beat Bradford City on Monday to extend their advantage over the Dons, but the men from MK1 can re-close that gap to five points with a win at stadiummk this evening.

Robinson’s men are also close to securing a place in the League 1 play-offs for the first time in three years – they need to reach 78 points to make sure of a top-six finish in 2014/15 and therefore need just two more wins.

The opposition
Despite sitting just one point and four places above the relegation zone, Scunthorpe arrive in Milton Keynes unbeaten in their last two games.

Mark Robins’ side, who have played less than games than everybody in the bottom half of the table, drew 2-2 with Notts County to halt a run of two straight defeats before beating play-off hopefuls Peterborough United 2-0 on Good Friday.

Striker Theo Robinson scored in both of those games for the Iron, which were also his first two since joining the club on loan from Doncaster Rovers. Fellow frontman Paddy Madden also found the net in the triumph over the Posh, to take his tally for the season to 16.

In fact, scoring goals has been Scunthorpe’s strength for most of the season, especially away from home where they have netted an impressive 31 times - more than anybody in the division outside of the top seven.

View from the dugouts
Dons manager Karl Robinson: “We were in on Easter Sunday and on Monday, working hard to get ourselves ready for Scunthorpe. To beat Swindon home and away is as good as it gets. Not many teams can do that, but now we have to look forward to Scunthorpe.”

Scunthorpe United manager Mark Robins: ““We've still got a lot of good games coming up and we'll look forward to the game on Tuesday against MK Dons. It's a case of small things costing you the game and also winning you games, so we've got to be mindful of that.”

Team news
The Dons have no fresh injury concerns following Saturday’s superb 3-0 success over Swindon Town but boss Robinson may look to make changes with his side facing the prospect of six games in just three weeks.

Lewis Baker, Danny Green and Devante Cole are three players who may be brought in if the Dons boss does decide to rotate his squad, while Rob Hall still awaits his first appearance since re-joining on loan from Bolton Wanderers.

Ian McLoughlin (appendix), Carl Baker and Ben Reeves (both calf) are out, with the latter sidelined for the remainder of the season.

Scunthorpe will assess centre-back Niall Canavan ahead of kick-off after he underwent a precautionary CT scan on a head injury sustained at Peterborough on Good Friday.

Liam O’Neill is another injury doubt for tonight’s visitors, while goalkeeper Sam Slocombe (arm) is also expected to miss out despite returning to full training.

Head to head
Both the Dons and Iron are tied on four wins each against each other, heading into tonight’s 12th meeting between the pair.

Since April 2009, the men from MK1 have beaten the Yorkshiremen three times, with Scunthorpe’s only recent success coming at stadiummk in April 2013. The other four fixtures all ended in draws.

Betting
Sky Bet
Result:
MK Dons to win – 8/15
Draw – 16/5
Scunthorpe United to win – 5/1

First goalscorer:
Will Grigg – 4/1
Dele Alli – 5/1
Daniel Powell – 13/2
Paddy Madden – 15/2
Theo Robinson – 8/1
Gary McSheffrey – 9/1

Scorecast:
Will Grigg to score first and MK Dons to win 4-1 – 75/1

Click here for a full list of odds!

All odds correct at time of writing

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