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Match Previews

Preview: Gillingham

All you need to know ahead of today's Sky Bet League One clash at Stadium MK...

19 August 2017

MK Dons will be hoping its third time lucky as they go in search of their first victory of the 2017/18 Sky Bet League One campaign this afternoon.

Robbie Neilson’s men were beaten 1-0 by Blackpool last Saturday – the same result they suffered on opening day against Wigan Athletic.

They do have one win to their name this season – the 1-0 Carabao Cup triumph over Forest Green Rovers – but they’ll want to get on the board in the league as soon as possible and they’ll want that success to come today in front of the home supporters at Stadium MK.

History is in their favour too, having beaten the Gillingham on three of their last four visits to Milton Keynes – Neilson will want that stat to read four out of five come 5pm this evening.

Kick-off is at 3pm.

Today's opponents Gillingham sit one point above the Dons in the Sky Bet League One table after two games.

Adrian Pennock’s side shared a point with promoted Doncaster Rovers on opening weekend but were unable to build on that result at home to Bradford City last weekend, losing 1-0 at the MEMS Priestfield Stadium.

As well as looking to secure their first win of the campaign this afternoon, the Gills will also be in search of their first goal having been held to a blank in all three of their competitive games in 2017/18.

A sixth-minute goal from Sean Longstaff proved the difference in the Dons’ first away league fixture of the season.

Longstaff found the net from an un-cleared corner early on in last Saturday’s contest and despite registering 13 shots on goal, Neilson’s side were unable to recover.

Ethan Ebanks-Landell went closest for the side with a header which just went wide, while Kieran Agard and Scott Wootton also saw chances go begging for the vistors.

Gillingham also slipped to a 1-0 defeat last weekend, with Dominic Poleon’s first-half goal earning Bradford City all three points in Kent.

Josh Parker missed two good opportunities for the Gills, who put pressure on their opponents following their 19th-minute opener.

However, their cause was not helped when Conor Wilkinson was shown a red card with 15 minutes left for a poor challenge on Timothee Dieng.

Robbie Neilson: “I expect a tough game. They beat us down there last season so we know it’s going to be a hard one for us.

“We have to stand up to the physicality and hope that our attacking players can be on form to win us the game.”

Jamie Day: "We need to go there, play on the front foot and take the game to MK Dons. If we can get an early goal that will benefit us.

"We're all positive and want to get that first win under our belts.”

The Club are still awaiting confirmation as to whether Osman Sow can make his debut – the striker will need international clearance before he is eligible to feature for the Dons.

Peter Pawlett (ankle) is back in contention but Chuks Aneke (hamstring) is still not ready for match action despite returning to training.

Gillingham will be without forward Conor Wilkinson, who starts a three-match suspension following his red card in last weekend's 1-0 home defeat by Bradford.

Midfielder Billy Bingham (foot) will be assessed but defenders Aaron Morris (knee) and Bradley Garmston (groin) are sidelined.

New signing Ben Nugent is expected to go straight into contention along with goalkeeper Steve Arnold.

Trevor Kettle will be the man in the middle today.

Kettle has refereed just one match in 2017/18 – the Sky Bet League Two meeting between Exeter City and Cambridge United during which he showed just one yellow card.

The Rutland official last took charge of the Dons in February for their visit to Oxford United. That afternoon, he booked seven players and dismissed Darren Potter for two yellow card offences.

His appointment before that was his most recent Gillingham match – their 1-1 draw with Shrewsbury which saw just two yellow cards shown.

The assistant referees are Rob Smith and David Plowright while the fourth official is Andrew Newbold.

Dons wins: 4
Dons wins at Stadium MK: 3
Last Dons win: 3-2, 1 Apr 2017 (Stadium MK)
Biggest Dons win: 4-2, 9 Aug 2014 (Stadium MK)

Draws: 1
Draws at Stadium MK: 0
Last draw: 2-2, 27 Mar 2010 (MEMS Priestfield Stadium)

Gillingham wins: 6
Gillingham wins at Stadium MK: 1
Last Gillingham win: 1-0, 17 Dec 2016 (MEMS Priestfield Stadium)
Biggest Gillingham win: 3-0, 31 Dec 2005 (MEMS Priestfield Stadium)

Result
Dons win – 4/6
Draw – 14/5
Gillingham win – 4/1

First goalscorer
Kieran Agard – 100/30
Ryan Seager – 5/1
Robbie Muirhead – 5/1
Gboly Ariyibi – 8/1
No goalscorer – 11/1
Josh Parker – 9/1
Tom Eaves – 9/1
Liam Nash – 9/1
Greg Cundle – 10/1

Sky Bet tip
One goal to be scored – 4/1

*all odds correct at the time of writing

Create a Sky Bet account today and enjoy some fantastic offers – click here to register!

iFollow MK Dons will have live commentary of today's match – click here to sign up for as little as £4.49 for a month or £45 for the season!

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 full 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 today's clash with Gillingham at Stadium MK are priced from £22 adults, £17 over-65s/under-21s and £7 under-18s while under-12s go FREE*. Discounts available for members and groups.

To book tickets click here, visit the Box Office or call 0333 200 5343. Tickets can also be bought from the cash-only booths around Stadium MK from 1pm. Tickets will be available to buy right up until kick-off.


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