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Match Previews

Preview: Middlesbrough

12 September 2015

The Dons return to action on Saturday when they travel to Middlesbrough’s Riverside Stadium for the very first time.

It’s been two weeks since the men from MK1’s last Sky Bet Championship outing due to the international break and they’ll be looking to maintain what has been a solid start to life in the second tier when they retake the field in the North East this weekend.

Karl Robinson’s men sit 11th in the table with seven points to their name and they are also unbeaten away from home so far in 2015/16 having won and drawn in their two fixtures so far.

Promotion-contenders Middlesbrough have also made an impressive start to the season and begin their September fixtures while occupying a place in the top six.

Boro have eight points to their name having won two of their opening five games, drawn two and lost just the one, while they also boast the best defensive record having conceded just three times.

In their five matches so far, Aitor Karanka’s side have faced the two promotion sides from League 1 aside from the Dons and taken just one point from those two fixtures – they drew 0-0 with Preston North End on opening day before being beaten 1-0 by Bristol City.

Karl Robinson: “The quality (Middlesbrough) possess is phenomenal. The front four are as good as you are going to come up against. It’ll be a hard test and we’re massive underdogs, but we’ll go with a strong mental mind-set.

Aitor Karana: “If we think it’s going to be easy we are making a big mistake. We’ve got to be careful with this game and we have to play our best style and highest intensity.”

The Dons will be without six players for the trip to Teeside, including midfielder Darren Potter who is out for up to six weeks with a knee injury.

Cody Cropper and Dale Jennings (both knee) are two more fresh injury concerns for Robinson, who is still without the services of Ben Reeves (hamstring) and long-term absentees Joe Walsh (knee) and Mark Randall (pelvis)

There is good news, though, in the form of Jordan Spence, who is available despite limping out of the clash with Birmingham City two weeks ago.

For the home side, winger Albert Adomah could return after ‘clearing the air’ with his manager Karanka – the 27-year-old hadn’t featured for the Boro in their last XX matches.

Fellow midfielder Carlos de Pena may also be involved following his transfer from Portuguese side Nacional on Deadline Day, while fellow new recruits Michael Agazzi and Fernando Amorebiata could play too.

In terms of injuries, Karanka will be without the services of his three long-term injured players - Rhys Williams Damien Abella and Alex Baptiste.

Middlesbrough win – 4/7
Draw – 14/5
Dons win – 5/1

First goalscorer:
Kike – 4/1
Grant Leadbitter – 5/1
Stewart Downing – 15/2
Sam Gallagher – 9/1
Dean Bowditch – 10/1
Josh Murphy 16/1

Carl Baker to score first and Dons to win 1-0 – 100/1

*All odds correct at the time of writing

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Tickets for Saturday's clash with Middlesbrough will be available to buy until 5pm on Friday, priced at £32 for adults, £24 for over-65s and £17 for under-18s.

To purchase tickets click here, visit the Box Office at stadiummk or call 0333 200 5343.

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