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Match Previews

Preview: Bradford City

27 February 2017

MK Dons travel to Bradford City this evening looking to build on Saturday’s success at Stadium MK.

Robbie Neilson’s side ended a run of three straight games without a win courtesy of a 2-1 victory over in-form Shrewsbury Town. They also got back on the scoresheet, netting twice in the opening 11 minutes of the contest to seal all three points.

Tonight’s clash provides the men from MK1 with an opportunity to register back-to-back league triumphs, which is something they’ve only managed to do twice before this season.

Successive wins would be the ideal form for the Dons to begin the penultimate month of the campaign, with the team still holding ambitions of making a late push for the Sky Bet League One play-off places.

Kick-off is at 7.45pm.

Bradford sit fifth in the Sky Bet League One table heading into tonight’s fixture, six points adrift of the two automatic-promotion spots.

One of the main reasons for their good form this campaign has been their performances at the Northern Commercials Stadium. Although they’ve only won six of their 17 home league matches in 2016/17, they have yet to taste defeat – a run which stretches back to March last year.

Despite their strong league position and their excellent home record, Stuart McCall’s side aren’t in the best of form overall having won just one of their last six games in all competitions – albeit that success coming in their last outing.

They’ve also conceded in all-but one of their league fixtures since the turn of the year, which is a stretch the Dons will be looking to maintain this evening in Yorkshire.

After a run of three games without a victory, the Dons returned to winning ways last weekend courtesy of a 2-1 success at home to Shrewsbury Town.

Kieran Agard put them ahead after just five minutes when he turned home a George Baldock cross – capping off a fine attacking move which also included a superb through pass from Darren Potter.

Paul Downing then doubled the men from MK1’s lead when he got the slightest of touches to Harvey Barnes’ ball in on 11 minutes.





The hosts levelled through JJ Hooper’s 58th-minute tap in but former Vale loanee Alex Jones, now of Bradford, won the game for his side with just over a quarter of an hour to go – sliding the ball past Leonardo Fasan.

Romain Vincelot gave the visiting Bantams a first-half lead when he headed home from Tony McMahon’s free-kick on 41 minutes.

Bradford defeated Port Vale this past Saturday to earn their first win in six matches.

Robbie Neilson: “They are strong and they’ve got quality all over the pitch so we know it’s going to be a tough one. We know it’s going to be a real battle so it’s about scrapping and making sure we get a foothold in the game.”




Stuart McCall: “Certainly under the new manager, they’ve been harder to score against. Plus, with the quality and pace they’ve got in the final third, it makes them a very difficult opponent. It might be a night for patience – as long as we can score one more than them we’ll be happy.”



Biggest Dons win: 4-1, 8 Feb 2005 (Northern Commercials Stadium)
Last Dons win: 2-0, 23 Sep 2014 (Stadium MK)
Dons wins at the Northern Commercials Stadium: 2
Dons win: 5

Deadman’s assistants tonight are Paul Newhouse and Matthew Perry while the fourth official is Carl Boyeson.

The Cambridgeshire official, who showed seven yellow cards in the men from MK1’s 3-1 defeat to Bury earlier in the campaign, has taken charge of 37 matches in total this season. He’s dished out 127 bookings and sent off seven players.

Darren Deadman will be the man in the middle this evening, refereeing the Dons for the second time in 2016/17.

Defender Matt Kilgallon is sidelined.

Midfielder Nicky Law and striker Charlie Wyke were both withdrawn from Saturday’s win over Port Vale while winger Mark Marshall has been suffering from a hamstring problem.

Bradford will monitor a trio of key players ahead of tonight’s clash.

Only Scott Wootton (knee) is unavailable with recently injured midfielder Ben Reeves (groin) okay after his comeback last weekend.
 
Ed Upson returns from suspension to give Robbie Neilson a near full-strength side to pick from this weekend.




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

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*All odds correct at the time of writing

Alex Jones: 11/2
Billy Clarke: 11/2
Jordi Hiwula: 11/2
Charlie Wyke: 7/2
No goalscorer: 15/2
Harvey Barnes: 17/2
Dean Bowditch: 8/1
Chuks Aneke: 15/2
Kieran Agard: 6/1
First goalscorer

Bradford win: EVENS
Draw: 23/10
Dons win: 14/5
Result

Biggest Bradford win: 2-0, 13 Aug 2005 (Northern Commercials Stadium)
Last Bradford win: 2-1, 16 Aug 2016 (Stadium MK)
Bradford wins at the Northern Commercials Stadium: 3
Bradford wins: 8

Last draw: N/A
Draws at the Northern Commercials Stadium: 0
Draws: 0 Tickets for tonight's clash with Bradford City can be bought at the Northern Commercials Stadium - tickets are priced at £23 adults, £15 seniors/students, £10 under-16s and £5 under-11s.

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