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Fixture News

Preview: Blackburn Rovers

All you need to know ahead of today's encounter...

26 August 2017

MK Dons will look to make it two wins from two in Sky Bet League One when they visit Blackburn Rovers this afternoon.

Robbie Neilson’s side put three points on the board with a 1-0 victory at home to Gillingham and they’ll look double that tally today by registering their maiden away league success in 2017/18.

While Blackburn provide a stern test for the men from MK1, they should be full of confidence, not only because they go into the match on the back of that first league triumph of the season but also as they scored their first league goal in the win and kept their first clean sheet.

They are also fresher than their Lancashire opponents, having played a day earlier in midweek and rested a number of key players. Neilson will be hoping that advantage can translate into points this afternoon.

Kick-off is at 3pm. 

Like the Dons, Blackburn recorded their first league win of the new season last weekend with a 1-0 victory away at Bradford City.

Rovers, in the third tier of English football for the first time in 37 years, began the campaign with 2-1 defeat to Southend United before suffering a 3-1 reverse away at Doncaster Rovers the following Saturday.

Although they enjoyed a 3-1 win over Coventry City in the Carabao Cup in-between those losses, they had to wait until last weekend to get off the mark in Sky Bet League One.

Now Tony Mowbray’s side will be looking to kick on as they push for an immediate return to the Championship.

The Dons exited the Carabao Cup at the second-round stage following a 4-1 defeat to Premier League Swansea City at Stadium MK.

It was Neilson’s side who opened the scoring on 17 minutes, when Ryan Seager finished off a fine attacking move but the lead didn’t last long as Swansea levelled just two minutes later through a Leroy Fer header.

Fer scored again just before the hour-mark to put the Premier League visitors ahead for the first time and they made sure of their place in Round Three by adding two further second-half goals – Tammy Abraham and Jordan Ayew the scorers.

Blackburn were beaten 2-0 by Burnley on Wednesday evening – a fourth-straight loss to their Lancashire rivals.

Jack Cork headed the Premier league Clarets in front in the 27th minute, converting from Robbie Brady's cross.

Republic of Ireland international Brady then weaved his way through the Rovers defence to double the advantage in added time at the end of the first half and secure a comfortable victory for his team.

Robbie Neilson: “They're a strong and experienced team. Tony plays a certain brand of football which is very entertaining and I'm sure they'll try to do that on Saturday. We know it'll be tough but (Ewood Park) is a good environment to play – we're looking forward to going up there.”

Tony Mowbray: “We've got to try and make (Ewood Park) a place that is very difficult for teams to come. This season we believe most of our points will come at home – we have to start and let’s hope Saturday is the first three points."

Kieran Agard will be assessed ahead of the kick-off after the striker picked up a groin injury during the warm-up on Tuesday night.

The Dons do, though, welcome back Scott Wootton, Ethan Ebanks-Landell and Peter Pawlett, all of whom were rested for that Carabao Cup tie with Swansea City.

Chuks Aneke (hamstring) isn’t expected back until late September.

Ryan Nyambe (knee) could return for Blackburn but they look set to be without fellow defenders Darragh Lenihan (foot) and Scott Wharton (ankle).

Bradley Dack (hamstring) also remains out sidelined for Rovers.

Scott Duncan will be the man with the whistle this afternoon.

The Northumberland official last took charge of the Dons in October 2015 for their Sky Bet Championship fixture with Queens Park Rangers at Loftus Road – Duncan showed just two yellow cards that day.

He was a lot busier in his most recent Blackburn fixture, booking four players and brandishing a red card to Rovers midfielder Hope Akpan in a 2-1 defeat to Sheffield Wednesday back in Feburary.

Today will Duncan’s sixth appointment of the 2017/18 season – so far he has produced 13 yellow cards, made two dismissals and awarded three penalties.

His assistant referees are Christopher Akers and Tony Peart, while the fourth official is Mark Dwyer.

Dons wins: 2
Dons wins at Ewood Park: 0
Last Dons win: 3-0, 17 Oct 2015 (Stadium MK)
Biggest Dons win: 3-0, 17 Oct 2015 (Stadium MK)

Draws: 0
Draws at Ewood Park: 0
Last draw: N/A

Blackburn wins: 1
Blackburn wins at Ewood Park: 1
Last Blackburn win: 3-2, 27 Feb 2016 (Ewood Park)
Biggest Blackburn win: 3-2, 27 Feb 2016 (Ewood Park)

Result
Dons win – 13/5
Draw – 12/5
Blackburn win – 21/20

First goalscorer
Osman Sow – 7/1
Ryan Seager – 8/1
Robbie Muirhead – 8/1
Gboly Ariyibi – 10/1
No goalscorer – 10/1
Danny Graham – 4/1
Dominic Samuel – 9/2
Marcus Antonsson – 11/2
Ben Gladwin – 7/1

Scorecast
Osman Sow to score first and MK Dons to win 2-1 – 60/1

*all odds correct at the time of writing

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Supporters can also stay in touch with the Dons via mkdons.com’s Match Centre, which can be accessed by visiting the home page from 1.30pm.

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

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

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Tickets for Saturday's clash with Blackburn Roves can be bought at Ewood Park ahead of kick-off - tickets are priced at £24 adults, £15 seniors/under-22s, £8 under-18s and £5 under-12s


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