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Match Previews

Preview: Preston North End

16 April 2016

The Dons will be eager to return to winning ways this afternoon when they visit Deepdale to face Preston North End.

Karl Robinson’s side are out to claim their first success since the 2-0 triumph over Queens Park Rangers, one which would see them maintain the pressure on the three teams above them in the Sky Bet Championship table.

The men from MK1 are currently nine points adrift of Rotherham United, Nottingham Forest and Bristol City with five games left to play, so they need to start closing that gap if they are to retain their status in the second tier.

It would take a magnificent run from the Dons to climb out of the bottom three but they only have to look back as far as this time last year for inspiration, when they put together a run of eight straight wins to achieve automatic promotion – pipping, ironically, today’s opponents Preston to that coveted second place.

THE OPPOSITION
Preston sit comfortably in 10th place heading into the final five games of 2014/15 and they’ll be hoping to end an excellent first campaign back in the Championship on a positive note.

However, they go into this match having lost on their last two outings, albeit one of those losses – their most recent – came away at promotion contenders Middlesbrough.

The Lilywhites have proven to be one of the toughest teams to score against all season, especially at Deepdale – Simon Grayson’s side have conceded just 18 goals on their own turf which is less than all-but one team outside the top six.

They have, though, only found the net 19 times in 20 home matches which is the second fewest total in the division.

LAST TIME OUT
The Dons endured a difficult afternoon last weekend as they lost ground in the race to secure Championship survival with a defeat to Rotherham United.

Robinson’s men fell behind to a Matt Derbyshire goal inside the first minute and trailed 2-0 at half-time after Leon Best converted from the penalty spot.

The Millers extended their advantage through Kirk Broadfoot in the second period before Richie Smallwood finished the scoring with a neat effort from the edge of the box.

Line-up: Cropper; Baldock, Kay (Maynard 77), Walsh, Lewington (c); Potter, Forster-Caskey; Bowditch (Baker 67), Williams (Carruthers 67), Murphy; Revell.



Line-up: Lindegaard, Vermijl, Cunningham, Pearson (Welsh, 62), Clarke (c), Wright, Robinson (Beckford, 62), Johnson, Garner, Doyle, Johnson.



David Nugent had chances to add to the lead in the second half but Preston didn’t break and went close to a dramatic late equaliser but Marnick Vermijl couldn’t find a way past Dimi Konstantopoulos.

Albert Adomah scored the only goal of the match in the first-half – a fine strike from the right corner of the box which beat keeper Anders Lindegaard.

Preston were beaten for the second straight game with a narrow loss to promotion-hopefuls Middlesbrough.




“They managed to keep all their players from last season which was important. They’ve done a wonderful job and we look on that with a bit of envy.”

“They may feel as though they’ve got a score to settle because of the way we got promoted last season, meaning they had to go through the play-offs.

Karl Robinson: “They are a fantastic football club, who are managed wonderfully well. They are very structured in how they do things, with some good players who can turn a game.
VIEW FROM THE DUGOUTS




Last Dons win: N/A
Dons wins at Deepdale: 0
Dons wins: 0
HEAD TO HEAD

All four of the encounters at Deepdale between these two clubs have ended in draws.
MATCH FACT

Chris Humphrey and Liam Grimshaw may also make the matchday squad but Stevie May is sidelined.

Tom Clarke, Calum Wood and Jordan Hugill could also return while Jermaine Beckford will be hoping for a start.

Preston could have four players back in the side including Adam Reach, who couldn’t feature against Middlesbrough due to the terms of his loan.

Ben Reeves (calf) is still sidelined while David Martin (hand) and Rob Hall (knee) are out for rest of the season.

Kyle McFadzean returns after a three-match suspension to give the Dons a defensive boost.
TEAM NEWS

“We had some good battles with them and full credit to them; they stuck on our coat tails and pipped us to automatic promotion. They will be disappointed where they are now, as will a lot of other teams, but it will be a tough game for us.”

“I know Karl really well. We have had battles with him over the last few years and they won’t give up the opportunity lightly to try and stay in the Championship after working so hard last year to get here.

Simon Grayson: “It will be a tough game. They will be looking for a reaction after last week and will be fighting for survival. They are not going to give up on it lightly.




Last draw: 1-1, 13 Dec 2014 (Deepdale)
Draws at Deepdale: 4
Draws: 6

) mkstadium Last Preston win: 1-0, 15 Aug 2015 (
Preston wins at Deepdale: 0
Preston wins: 3


A full match report will be available to view on mkdons.com straight after the final whistle.

@MKDonsFC can also follow every pass, tackle, shot and goal by following the Club’s official page - Twitter Those on

Fans can also stay in touch with the Dons via mkdons.com’s matchday blog, which can be accessed by visiting the home page from midday.

to sign up for as little as £4.49 a month! here Tune in to MK Dons PlayerHD from 2.55pm for live commentary of today's game – click
MATCH COVERAGE

Sheffield Wednesday, Ipswich Town, 3pm
Rotherham United v Nottingham Forest, 3pm
Leeds United v Reading, 3pm
Charlton Athletic v Derby County, 3pm
Cardiff City v Queens Park Rangers, 3pm
Brentford v Bristol City, 3pm
Blackburn Rovers v Huddersfield Town, 3pm
Birmingham City v Burnley, 3pm
Bolton Wanderers v Middlesbrough, 12.30pm
Saturday

Hull City 2-1 Wolverhampton Wanderers
Brighton & Hove Albion 5-0 Fulham
Friday
ELSEWHERE IN THE CHAMPIONSHIP

for more betting options for today's Sky Bet Championship clash - don't forget the Dons benefit every time you win with Sky Bet! here Click

*All odds correct at the time of writing

Carl Baker: 5/1
Josh Murphy: 9/2
Dean Bowditch: 4/1
Nicky Maynard: 7/2
Alex Revell: 100/30
First Dons goalscorer

Brighton win: 17/20
Draw: 12/5
Dons win: 7/2
Result
SKY BET ODDS

Tickets for today's match can be bought from the Away Booth at Deepdale, which opens at 1.30pm  - tickets are priced from £24 adults and £8 juniors.

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