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Match Previews

Preview: Bristol Rovers

17 October 2016

Match Previews

Preview: Bristol Rovers

17 October 2016

MK Dons entertain Bristol Rovers this evening, looking to bounce back from a frustrating loss at the league leaders last weekend.

Karl Robinson’s side matched and led against top-of-the-table Scunthorpe United but were beaten by two second-half goals from Paddy Madden in only their second away league defeat of the campaign.

Disappointed not to come away with at least a point, the men from MK1 will be looking to respond tonight and claim what would be their first home success of the season.

Should they collect that victory, then the Dons could see themselves climb back to within touching distance of the top six in Sky Bet League One.

Kick-off is at 7.45pm.

The Rovers arrive at Stadium MK as one of the most in-form sides in Sky Bet League One having won four of their last five league matches.

Darrell Clarke’s side currently sit eighth in the table, two points adrift of the play-off places with a game in hand – they will therefore be full confidence as they make their first visit to Milton Keynes since New Year’s Day 2011.

Although their recent form has been impressive, the Bristol outfit have been inconsistent on their travels – they have two wins, two draws and two losses to their name from six away matches this season.

But while they’ve failed to find consistency or score too many goals on the road, they have proven difficult to break down with their total of seven goals conceded one of the better records in the division.

League leaders Scunthorpe came from behind to deny the Dons a fourth successive away victory in all competitions.

Kieran Agard put Robinson’s men ahead with a neat strike from close-range, after some terrific work by Ben Reeves to get away from defender Scott Wiseman.

Scunthorpe, though, drew level in the second half courtesy of substitute Paddy Madden, who then doubled his and the Iron’s lead with nine minutes to go with another simple finish.

Former Dons loanee Chris Lines equalised for Rovers in the 81st minute with a cool finish before Ellis Harrison won the game for the Bristol outfit – the substitute volleyed home from Cristian Montano’s cross.

The Gills took the lead when Josh Wright fired a low shot past Kelle Roos after being left unmarked at the far post.

Bristol Rovers scored two goals in the final nine minutes to come from behind and beat Gillingham at Memorial Stadium.

Karl Robinson: “They are a good side with arguably one of the best strikers in the league. They’ve made a solid start and we know how hard it’s going to be on Tuesday.”

Steve Yates, Bristol Rovers first-team coach: " They play good football and are well-organised. It will be a tough game so we need to make sure we're up and fully prepared for another competitive match."

Last Dons win: 2-1, 2 Feb 2011 (Memorial Stadium)
Dons wins at Stadium MK: 3
Dons wins: 6

Handley’s assistant referees tonight are Ravel Cheosiaua and Brian Durie, while the fourth official is Ian Dudley.

The Lancashire official has shown 46 yellow cards in 13 matches but has only produced two red cards, although both of those have come in the past month.

Darren Handley will take charge of tonight’s affair, almost a year after he last refereed the Dons.

The Welshman is currently surving a three-match ban, while midfielder Liam Lawrence is again missing due to injury.

Former Dons striker Jermaine Easter is one of only two absentees for Bristol Rovers ahead of this evening's clash.

On a positive note, Ed Upson is back available after completing his one-match ban, while Ryan Colclough could play more of a role after recovering from a recent illness.

George Baldock (hamstring) is making progress but remains sidelined along with long-term absentees Chuks Aneke (knee) and Scott Wootton (knee).

The Dons will be without Darren Potter and Joe Walsh, who both serve suspensions tonight after collecting five bookings each.

Last draw: 1-1, 17 Feb 2007 (Memorial Stadium)
Draws at Stadium MK: 0
Draws: 1

Rovers wins: 1
Rovers wins at Stadium MK: 0
Last Rovers win: 1-0, 5 Apr 2010 (Memorial Stadium)

Draw: 13/5
Rovers: 5/2

First goalscorer
Kieran Agard: 4/1
Matty Taylor: 9/2
Nicky Maynard: 5/1
Dean Bowditch: 11/2
Ellis Harrison: 15/2
Rory Gaffney: 8/1

*All odds correct at the time of writing

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

MK Dons PlayerHD will have live commentary of tonight's match, with coverage starting at 7.40pm –

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

to sign up for as little as £4.49 a month! hereclick !Snapchat and Instagram, Facebook, TwitterThere will also be full coverage on the Club’s social media channels –

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

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