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Match Previews

Preview: Swindon Town

4 April 2015

The Dons return to action on Saturday when they travel to Swindon Town for an important Sky Bet League 1 clash – kick-off 12.15pm.

Karl Robinson’s side visit the County Ground for a match featuring the two sides which occupy third and fourth place in the table heading into the final stage of the 2014/15 season.

A win for the men from MK1 on Saturday will see them leapfrog the Robins and, with second-placed Preston North End facing a tough test against Rochdale on Good Friday, could see them close the gap on the automatic promotion spots as well.

Despite having played a game less than most teams in the division, the Dons remain League 1’s top scorers with 76 goals to their name. Their goal difference of +36 is also the second best total, behind only leaders Bristol City.

The opposition
It will have been three weeks since Swindon’s last game when they arrive for the match on Saturday lunchtime, due to their opponents’ Johnstone’s Paint Trophy commitments and, last Saturday, international call-ups.

Before that, the Robins had won their last three games, including an impressive road triumph against play-off contenders Doncaster Rovers. In those trio of victories, Swindon scored six goals and conceded just the one.

If you were to pick a weakness of Mark Cooper’s side, who currently sit one place above the Dons in the table, it would be their home form. Despite winning 11 games on their own patch, the Wiltshire club have conceded more goals than any of the top four while also scoring the fewest.

View from the dugouts
MK Dons manager Karl Robinson: “I’m so excited by going back to Swindon. It’s great to see Swindon competing because they’re a good football club.

“It’s two good teams at this level going head-to-head. Both teams play in a way that’s unusual for this level and I’m sure the respect that both clubs have for each other is enormous.”

Swindon Town manager Mark Cooper: “They’ve got technically good players, blended in with some decent experience. The way they play, as well, is difficult to play against.

“Whenever we’ve played against MK (Dons) it’s been a good game. The game earlier in the season was end-to-end and it could have gone either way.

“We’re looking forward to a good game and hopefully we can come out on top.”

Team news
The Dons will be without Ben Reeves and Carl Baker, with the two midfielders both suffering from calf injuries.

Reeves has been ruled out for the remainder of the season with his issue while Baker is only expected to miss a further week, although definitely won’t play on Saturday.

There is positive news, however, in the form of teenage sensation Dele Alli, who has been back training with the Dons for the last two weeks after a spell on the sidelines due to an ankle problem – Alli had been receiving treatment at parent club Tottenham Hotspur.

Swindon boss Cooper has a fully fit squad to choose from, aside from long-term absentee Louis Thompson (shoulder).

Jack Stephens, Jordan Turnbull, Harry Toffolo and John Swift were on international duty for the Robins last week but all have returned unscathed and are available to play on the weekend.

Head to head
The Dons will be after their third straight victory over Swindon on Saturday and their fourth in five games.

In the 18 previous meetings between the two clubs, it’s the men from MK1 who hold the advantage with eight  wins to their name. The Robins, meanwhile, have won six past clashes.

Sky Bet
Swindon Town to win – 6/4
Draw – 12/5
MK Dons to win – 17/10

First goalscorer:
Andy Williams – 5/1
Michael Smith – 5/1
Jonathan Obika – 13/2
Will Grigg – 13/2
Devante Cole – 13/2
Dele Alli – 15/2

Dean Bowditch to score first and MK Dons to win 2-1 – 50/1

Click here for a full list of odds!

All odds correct at time of writing

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