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Match Previews

Preview: Preston North End

15 August 2015

The Dons will play host to a Sky Bet Championship fixture for the very first time today – ironically, against the side they pipped to automatic promotion last season.

Karl Robinson’s side entertain Preston North End at stadiummk this afternoon, just over three months after they leapfrogged the Lilywhites into League 1’s second place on a dramatic final day of the 2014/15 campaign.

The men from MK1 secured a place in the second tier of English football courtesy of that finishing position and they began life at that level in style last Saturday, beating Rotherham United 4-1 – the biggest win in the division on opening weekend.

They followed that result up with a come-from-behind victory over Leyton Orient in the Capital One Cup on Tuesday, which means there is a chance Robinson’s men could make it three wins from three today - something a Dons side has never done before.

The opposition
Although missing out on automatic promotion last season, Preston picked themselves up to secure a place in the Championship via the play-offs.

Simon Grayson’s men began their 2015/16 campaign live on Sky Sports last Sunday, holding one of the division’s promotion-favourites Middlesbrough to a goalless draw at Deepdale.

In the Capital One Cup on Wednesday, the Lilywhites saw off League 1 outfit Crewe Alexandra with a 3-1 triumph – Jordan Hugill, Will Keane and Josh Brownhill getting on the scoresheet and beginning their accounts for the season.

Views from the dugouts
Karl Robinson, speaking to the media: “Simon Grayson has a way of playing, he knows how to get results, but we need to negate that and make sure we are better than them in certain areas of the park.”

Simon Grayson, speaking to PNE PlayerHD: "They had a good start at the weekend - I went to Rotherham to see that game. They play like they always have. Karl is not going to change his philosophies, no matter what league his team are playing in.

Team news
Karl Robinson admits to having a selection headache after a number of impressive performances in Tuesday night’s Capital One Cup victory over Leyton Orient.

The Dons boss made 10 changes to his side for the stadiummk tie and may look to stick with some of those players who helped secure a place in the second round – Carl Baker, who has scored two goals in two games, being one of those.

In terms of injuries, Antony Kay, Darren Potter, Rob Hall and Samir Carruthers were all rested in midweek due to knocks picked up at Rotherham United but the quartet should be ready to go. Mark Randall is the only definite absentee.

PNE, meanwhile, are monitoring the fitness of striker Jermaine Beckford, who has missed the opening two games of the season due to a knock sustained in pre-season.

Tom Clarke is another injury concern after being ruled out of the midweek Capital One Cup tie with Crewe due to a foot injury, while fellow defender Bailey Wright is also a doubt.

Sky Bet
Dons to win – 6/5
Draw – 23/10
PNE to win – 9/4

First goalscorer:
Sam Gallagher – 5/1
Dean Bowditch – 11/2
Jermaine Beckford – 13/2
Joe Garner – 13/2
Carl Baker – 8/1
Will Keane – 8/1

Carl Baker to score first and MK Dons to win 1-0 – 33/1

*All odds correct at the time of writing

Click here for odds on all Sky Bet Championship outright markets - don't forget the Dons benefit every time you win with Sky Bet!

Tickets for today's clash with Preston are available to buy now - they are priced from £25 for adults, £17 for over-65s and under-21s*, £7 for under-18s while under-12s can go FREE with a Young Dons membership**!

To purchase tickets click here, visit the Box Office at stadiummk/kiosk at thecentre:mk or call 0333 200 5343.

**Under-12s go FREE when an accompanied by an adult and with a Young Dons Membership (maximum of two free U12s per adult)
*Under-21s must be a Club Dons member to take advantage of the reduced price

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