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Match Previews

Preview: Blackburn Rovers

17 October 2015

Sky Bet Championship football returns to stadiummk today when the Dons entertain Blackburn Rovers.

Karl Robinson’s side have been out of action for two weeks due to the international break but remain buoyant after earning an important point away at Bristol City - their last league outing.

The Dons deservedly secured a 1-1 draw courtesy of Daniel Powell’s stoppage-time equaliser and as a result climbed four places in the table to 19th. They also put an end to a run of five straight league defeats.

Blackburn arrive at stadiummk in a good vein of form having taken eight points from their last four league matches.

During that run, Rovers beat both Charlton Athletic and Ipswich Town while scoring five goals and not conceding once. They also drew with Queens Park Rangers and Hull City, both of whom currently sit in the top half of the table.

Striker Jordan Rhodes has been an integral part of their recent upturn in form – the Scotland international is on a five-game scoring streak, a stretch which has seen him tally a highly impressive seven goals.

Karl Robinson: “We’re coming up against a very honest and talented side and we’ll have to bring our a-game. I went to watch them play against QPR away and their performance levels were sensational.”

Gary Bowyer: “The message that will be delivered to the players is not to underestimate MK Dons. There is no easy game in the Championship and if you let any team in this division do what they want to do then they are going to hurt you.”

Darren Potter, Dean Bowditch and Matt Upson are edging closer to a return to action according to boss Robinson but today's game is expected to come too soon for the trio.

Dale Jennings and Joe Walsh also remain sidelined with knee injuries while Mark Randall, who featured from the bench in the County Cup win over Didcot Town on Tuesday, will be introduced slowly back into the first-team fold.

There is positive news in form of Samir Carruthers, however, who is back available for selection following a three-game suspension. All five of the Dons’ international players returned from their respective duties unscathed too.

Blackburn, meanwhile, should have Jordan Rhodes and midfielder Lee Williamson available despite the pair picking up knocks while on international duty.

Midfielders Danny Guthrie and Jason Lowe are both sidelined with injury, as are strikers Chris Brown and Fode Koita.

- The Dons were the winners in the only competitive meeting between the two sides – a 2-1 triumph at stadiummk in the Capital One Cup back in August 2012.

- Blackburn haven’t registered a victory in their last eight away league matches.

- Rovers striker Jordan Rhodes has scored four goals in his last four games against the Dons, all of which came during his time with Huddersfield Town.

James Linington will take charge of his 13th game of the season this afternoon. So far this campaign he has shown 30 yellow cards (av. 2.5 per game) and sent two players off. He has yet to award a penalty in 2015/16.

He last refereed the Dons back in February 2014, when he marshalled the 3-0 win over Walsall – a game in which he sent off Saddlers skipper Andy Butler for denying a goal-scoring opportunity and gave either side a penalty.

Dons win – 9/5
Draw – 23/10
Blackburn win – 6/4

First goalscorer:
Jordan Rhodes – 9/2
Simon Church – 6/1
Tom Lawrence – 6/1
Carl Baker – 8/1
Ben Marshall – 17/2
Ben Reeves – 17/2

*All odds correct at the time of writing

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Tickets for today's clash with Blackburn Rovers are priced from £25 adults and £7 under-18s, while under-12s go FREE with a Young Dons membership.

Tickets will remain on sale right up until kick-off from the Box Office and cash only booths.

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