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Match Previews

Preview: AFC Wimbledon

9 December 2016

Match Previews

Preview: AFC Wimbledon

9 December 2016

Robbie Neilson takes charge of his first game at Stadium MK this afternoon as his MK Dons side entertain rivals AFC Wimbledon (kick-off 1pm).

Neilson, who was appointed as first-team manager last week, makes his home bow and will be looking to become the fourth Dons boss to win their opening league fixture.

A win, which would certainly go down well amongst supporters given the opposition this weekend, would also provide the team with a welcome boost heading into the busy festive period, in which they play at home a further three more times.

It would, of course, be a first home league success of the season – a monkey Neilson would like to get off his back right away as he aims to guide the team away from their current position in the Sky Bet League One table.

Kick-off is at 1pm.

AFC Wimbledon have enjoyed a strong beginning to life in the third tier and they will arrive at the home of the Dons sitting seventh in the table.

Their away form has been a key factor in their impressive start – the Kingston club have taken 17 points from their 10 away matches thanks to four wins and five draws. They’ve also only conceded nine times on their travels which is the second-best total in the division.

In terms of recent form, AFC Wimbledon have been rather inconsistent, with only three victories to their name in their last 10 outings in all competitions – two of those coming against one opponent (Bury) and the other against non-league opposition in Curzon Ashton.

The Dons side exited the Checkatrade Trophy after defeat at Huish Park on Tuesday evening.

Neilson, who made nine changes for his first competitive match in charge of the Club, saw his side take the lead in the first-half after Ryan Colclough’s cross was headed past the keeper by defender Alex Lacey.

Yeovil, though, scored twice from the penalty spot after the break before adding two more goals late on to secure their passage through to the Round of 16 and deny Neilson a winning start to life as Dons boss.

“I knew the history of it but from the outside I didn’t really know the ins and outs. Since I’ve been here, speaking to people, I can see the huge significance it has – it’s important we’re ready.”

Robbie Neilson: “You want to play in the biggest games and this is one of the biggest games in this league. Hopefully the atmosphere is good and we can put in a performance and get a result.

Tyrone Barnett reduced the deficit for his side in the second period but despite an improved performance, AFC Wimbledon weren’t able to save their place in the competition.

Opponents Brighton & Hove Albion led by two goals at half-time courtesy of Elvis Manu’s sweeping finish and Richie Towell’s penalty.

AFC Wimbledon were also beaten in their midweek Checkatrade Trophy fixture.

Last Dons win: 3-1, 12 Aug 2014 (Stadium MK)
Dons wins at Stadium MK: 2
Dons wins: 2

His assistant referees today are Matt Foley and John Flynn while the fourth official is Daniel Leach.

Eltringham has shown 61 yellow cards and sent three players off in 18 matches this season – one of those red cards was shown just two weekends ago.

The County-Durham based official has not refereed the Dons since their 1-0 victory over Derby County back in February.

Geoff Eltringham is the man tasked with this afternoon's fixture at Stadium MK.

Defender Will Nightingale is more of a doubt with a knee injury while winger Andy Barcham and the versatile Darius Charles won’t be fit in time to play.

AFC Wimbledon will assess strikers Tom Elliott and Lyle Taylor ahead of kick-off, with both players suffering from niggles.

The Scotsman’s only real injury concern is Nicky Maynard (hamstring) who looks likely to remain sidelined until the trip to Gillingham, at best. Scott Wootton continues to make progress from his serious knee injury but remains a long-term absentee.

Chuks Aneke started and impressed in Tuesday’s game but is still some way off being fit enough to begin a league match – he should, though, be an option off the bench for Neilson.

Samir Carruthers is available despite being sent off in that game at Yeovil, as cards collected in the Checkatrade Trophy are exclusive to that competition.

Robbie Neilson is expected to recall his more-recognised first-team players for today's clash, after making nine changes for the Checkatrade Trophy tie in midweek.

“Don’t look at their form or where they are in the league because that all comes out of it. I’s like a derby really where the game is not about who is at the bottom or who’s at the top.”

Jake Reeves, AFC Wimbledon midfielder: “We do know there is a lot more riding on this game than just three points – it’s massive.

Last draw: N/A
Draws at Stadium MK: N/A
Draws: 0

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

There will also be full coverage on the Club’s social media channels – Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat!

Supporters can also stay in touch with the Dons via’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 MK Dons PlayerHD will have live commentary of this afternoon’s match – click

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

*All odds correct at the time of writing

Tyrone Barnett: 15/2
Tom Elliot: 7/1
Dominic Poleon: 13/2
Lyle Taylor: 13/2
No goalscorer: 10/1
Ben Reeves: 9/1
Ryan Colclough: 13/2
Dean Bowditch: 11/2
Kieran Agard: 9/2
First goalscorer

AFC Wimbledon win: 12/5
Draw: 12/5
Dons win: 11/10

Last AFC Wimbledon win: 3-2, 7 October 2014 (Stadium MK)
AFC Wimbledon wins at Stadium MK: 1
AFC Wimbledon wins: 1 Tickets for today's clash with AFC Wimbledon at Stadium MK are priced from £22 adults, £17 over-65s/under-21s and £7 under-18s, while there are discounts available for members and groups.

To purchase tickets click here, visit the Box Office/centre:mk kiosk or call 0333 200 5343. Tickets can also be bought from the cash-only booths around Stadium MK ahead of kick-off. Restrictions apply.

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