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Match Previews

Preview: Rotherham United

8 August 2015

Three months after securing second place in Sky Bet League 1, the Dons are all set for their inaugural Championship fixture.

Karl Robinson’s side travel to the AESSEAL New York Stadium on Saturday to face Rotherham United in their first-ever second tier clash.

The men from MK1 have been in training since late June preparing for this weekend’s clash and they will, no doubt, be eager to get off to a fast start at the beginning of their newest, and arguably most exciting, journey yet.

The opposition
Rotherham upset the bookies by avoiding relegation last season – their first campaign back in the Championship after promotion via the play-offs in 2014.

In order to build on their 21st place finish this year, manager Steve Evans has been busy in the transfer market bringing in no less than 11 new faces and allowing 10 to move on to pastures new.

Emmanuel Ledesma, Tom Thorpe, Greg Halford and Chris Maguire are among the new faces to have arrived in South Yorkshire this summer, to add to a squad which already included the likes of Matt Derbyshire, Paul Green and Frazer Richardson.

View from the dugouts
Karl Robinson, speaking to MK Dons PlayerHD: “Tomorrow there will be a very intense atmosphere. It’s one of the smallest pitches in the league and the fans there get so behind their team – and rightly so for the constant success that they’ve had over recent years.

“To have a points deduction last season and still stay up was quite remarkable and I’m sure the manager will want to go one better than last year.”

Steve Evans, speaking to Millers PlayerHD: “(MK Dons) were a top class, stunning football side last season. They are an excellent side to watch and our supporters will see that on Saturday.

“We’ve watched a lot of footage on them but they are a quality side in all departments and I’m sure they’ll come up and grace the Championship.”

Team news
Mark Randall (pelvis) is the Dons’ only injury concern ahead of Saturday’s clash with the Millers.

Lee Hodson (hip flexor) passed a fitness test on Thursday and will travel to South Yorkshire while Kyle McFadzean (ill) made it through his scheduled 30 minutes in Monday’s friendly against a Chelsea XI.

The Club are still waiting for international clearance on Spanish duo Cristian Benavente and Sergio Aguza.
Rotherham, meanwhile, are waiting on the fitness of Joe Mattock, who has been rated as 50/50 to make his debut for the Millers.

Danny Ward has been in training this week so should be available to feature while Joe Newell could also be included after moving to the AESSEAL New York Stadium from Peterborough United on Wednesday.

Head to head
Saturday will be the sixth meeting between the Dons and Rotherham, the most recent of which came on the penultimate day of the 2013/14 season.

Three of the first four clashes ended in draws, with the Dons winning the one fixture 1-0 in January 2008.

The men from MK1 then recorded a second win over the Millers at stadiummk in October 2013 before that last fixture at the end of the 2013/14 campaign which ended 2-2.

Sky Bet
To win:
Rotherham United – 9/5
Draw – 11/5
Dons – 6/4

First goalscorer:
Matt Derbyshire – 11/2
Simon Church – 6/1
Danny Ward – 6/1
Chris Maguire – 13/2
Sam Gallagher – 7/1
Carl Baker – 17/2

Sam Gallagher to score first and MK Dons to win 2-0 – 50/1

*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 Saturday’s clash against Rotherham are available to buy from the Box Office until 5pm on Friday as well as on the day at the AESSEAL New York Stadium – tickets are priced at £23 for adults, £13 for over-65s, £8 for under-18s and £6 for under-12s

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

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