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Match Previews

Preview: Fleetwood Town

17 February 2017

MK Dons face Fleetwood Town this afternoon, looking to maintain their excellent form at Stadium MK.

Robbie Neilson’s men have won four of their last six home matches in all competitions, while they tasted defeat at MK1 just once since November.

They do, though, go into today’s clash in search of their first win in three games, after taking only one point from two tough away fixtures at Oxford United and Bury. The men from MK1 will also be looking to get back amongst the goals after scoring just twice in their last four.

A win this afternoon would see Neilson’s side move above Charlton Athletic into 13th place, should the Addicks lose away to play-off hopefuls Rochdale. They’ll also want to close the gap on the top six once again, after slipping 11 points adrift in midweek.

Kick-off is at 3pm.

Fleetwood will arrive in Milton Keynes this afternoon with aspirations of stretching their unbeaten run in Sky Bet League One to 16 games.

The Cod Army, fourth in the table and just four points adrift of the automatic-promotion places, haven’t lost in the league since a 2-1 defeat at Port Vale during the second weekend of November – over three months ago.

Away from home, Uwe Rosler’s side have been solid throughout the campaign. While they’ve only scored 18 goals from 15 road trips, they’ve only conceded 17 times which is a total bettered by only Bolton Wanderers and the Dons in Sky Bet League One.

If there was to be one negative point made about the Lancashire outfit, it is that they tend to draw too many games – three of their last four matches have ended all-square.

The Dons were left frustrated on Tuesday evening after being held to a goalless draw by Bury at Gigg Lane.

Neilson’s men enjoyed the better of the chances but weren’t able to find a way past Shakers goalkeeper Joe Murphy.

Stuart O’Keefe had the best opportunity to earn all three points for the visitors in the second half but he fired over from Harvey Barnes’ cross despite being well-placed 10-yards from goal.

Ben Tilney, on his league debut for the Dons, also went close late on but his near-post effort was palmed away by Murphy.





Robbie Neilson: “It’s going to be a tough one for us. They’re pushing for automatic promotion and they come here in real good form.  Uwe’s got them playing really well and they have a lot of pace up front – it’s going to be a tough game.”

Rosler’s team then completed their dramatic comeback with nine minutes to play – Bradford defender Rory McArdle turning a Conor McLaughlin cross past his own goalkeeper from inside the six-yard box.

Cairns pulled off a stunning save to deny Alex Gillead after the break and that stop proved crucial as Fleetwood went on to equalise courtesy of a poacher’s finish from Devante Cole.

The Bantams dominated the first-half but failed to make their chances count early on. Eventually, though, the opened the scoring courtesy of Jordy Hiwula, who played a one-two with his teammate Charlie Wyke before finishing under Cod Army goalie Alex Cairns.

Fleetwood picked up a vital win in the race for promotion from Sky Bet League One, as they came-from-behind to beat Bradford City at Highbury Stadium.



Biggest win: 4-1, 24 Sep 2016 (Highbury Stadium)
Last Dons win: 4-1, 24 Sep 2016 (Highbury Stadium)
Dons wins at Stadium MK: 1
Dons wins: 3

Kinseley’s assistant referees this afternoon are Marc Wilson and Garry Maskell while the fourth official is Alan Dale.

The Essex official has marshalled 22 games this season and shown 94 yellow cards. He’s made six dismissals, including five in his last 12 appointments.

Today's referee is Nicholas Kinseley, who will be taking charge of the Dons for the very first time.

Defender Nathan Pond, midfielder Jimmy Ryan and winger Martyn Woolford are also sidelined for the Cod Army.

Fleetwood look set to be without striker Wes Burns for another game after he missed the win over Bradford with a leg injury.

Joe Walsh and Ed Upson are both banned while Ben Reeves (groin) is still a week away. Nicky Maynard will be monitored as he recovers from a hamstring injury.

Darren Potter is also available following suspension but there are still key absentees for Neilson to contend with.

Dean Lewington is set to return for the Dons after four weeks out with an ankle injury.

Ashley Eastham: “We will fully respect MK Dons but will look to put our stamp on the game. It’s going to be a tough afternoon and hopefully we can come out on top. We’re in great form and looking to keep it going.”




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


MK Dons PlayerHD will have live commentary of today’s match –

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*All odds correct at the time of writing

Bobby Grant: 10/1
Devante Cole: 8/1
Ashley Hunter: 13/2
David Ball: 11/2
No goalscorer: 8/1
Harvey Barnes: 13/2
Dean Bowditch: 6/1
Chuks Aneke: 6/1
Kieran Agard: 9/2
First goalscorer

Away: 12/5
Draw: 9/4
Dons win: 6/5
Result

Biggest Fleetwood win: N/A
Last Fleetwood win: N/A
Fleetwood wins at Stadium MK: 0
Fleetwood wins: 0 There will also be full coverage on the Club’s social media channels –

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

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A full match report will be available to view on mkdons.com straight after the final whistle.
  To book tickets click here, visit the Box Office/centre:mk kiosk or call 0333 200 5343.

Tickets for today's clash with Fleetwood Town at Stadium MK are priced at £22 adults, £17 over-65s/under-21s* and £7 under-18s while under-12s go FREE with a Young Dons membership*Tickets will also be available from the cash-only booths around Stadium MK from 1pm.

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