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Match Previews

Preview: Oxford Utd

10 February 2017

MK Dons will be looking to make it seven games unbeaten in the league when they take on Oxford United at the Kassam Stadium.

Robbie Neilson’s side, who have not tasted defeat in Sky Bet League One since Boxing Day, are the form team in the division having taken 14 points from their last six games with a goal difference of plus-eight.

That impressive goal difference total is largely down to their scoring form – the men from MK1 have found the net 14 times in their last six games which is a total bettered by only one side in the entire EFL (Exeter City).

The Dons also go into this afternoon's game on the back of one of their most impressive away victories in recent years – a 4-0 thrashing of play-off hopefuls Peterborough United at the ABAX Stadium.

Another three points on the road today would see Neilson’s men climb above their opponents Oxford United in the Sky Bet League One table. They would also move into the top-half with a win should Charlton Athletic lose to AFC Wimbledon at Kingsmeadow.

Kick-off is at 3pm.

Like the Dons, opponents Oxford are also in good form heading into this afternoon's game with seven victories to their name from their last eight matches in all competitions, including a stunning 3-0 upset over Sky Bet Championship title-contenders Newcastle United.

While their goal total of 36 sees then rank middle-of-the-pack in Sky Bet League One, they do boast one of the best defensive records having conceded just 31 times – a total bettered by only three others sides in the division.

The majority of their goals have come courtesy of striking duo Kane Hemmings and Chris Maguire, who have combined to score 25 times in 2016/17. The likes of Liam Sercombe, Marvin Johnson and former Don Rob Hall have also chipped in during the campaign.

With just two defeats to their name in their last 18 outings, the men from MK1 know they’ll be in for a tough afternoon on their first visit to the Kassam Stadium.

The Dons left it late but secured a fifth home win in seven courtesy of a 1-0 triumph over Oldham Athletic at Stadium MK.

Robbie Neilson’s side were frustrated by the Latics for the majority of the midweek contest but did go agonisingly close to an opener in the first-half when Kieran Agard almost connected with a low cross from Dean Bowditch.

The likes of Chuks Aneke, Harvey Barnes and Nicky Maynard were introduced after the break as the men from MK1 went in search of a winner and just when it appeared the game would end goalless, the latter sent a stunning 96th minute volley into the bottom left corner to seal a dramatic victory.





Then, three minutes later, Hall completed the turnaround with a fierce effort from distance which said passed Lawrence Vigouroux, who was shown a red card in stoppage time.

Their lead lasted until the 70th minute when Liam Sercombe tapped in a cross from Marvin Johnson at the far post.

Fankaty Dabo broke the deadlock after 19 minutes, driving home from the edge of the area for his first senior goal.

Oxford came out on top in their derby with bitter rivals Swindon Town, with ex-Dons loanee Rob Hall scoring the winning goal in the second half.



Biggest win: N/A
Last Dons win: N/A
Dons wins at the Kassam Stadium:
Dons wins: 0

Kettle’s assistant referees are Christopher Wade and Andrew Newbold while the fourth official is Andrew Aylott.

The Rutland official, who has refereed two Dons matches already this season, has produced 95 yellow cards in 21 appointments during the 2016/17 campaign. He has, however, shown his red card just once and both of those came in the same game, back in September.

Trevor Kettle will be the man in the middle for today's clash.

Midfielder Canice Carroll is away on international duty, however, and won’t feature.

Oxford hope to have defenders Christian Ribeiro and Sam Long back available after their respective injury issues.

Two players who won’t feature are Dean Lewington (ankle) and Ben Reeves (groin) while Scott Wootton (knee) remains the only long-term absentee.

Robbie Neilson made four changes to his side in midweek so may look to rotate his squad again for the trip to Oxfordshire.

John Lundstram: “They’ve been on a good little run. It’s one we’ve got to prepare and one we’re looking forward to.”

Robbie Neilson: “They’re on good form and they’re a tough team with quality all over the pitch. They have boys who can cause you real problems.”


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

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*All odds correct at the time of writing

Toni Martinez: 13/2
Kane Hemmings: 13/2
Rob Hall: 13/2
Chris Maguire: 9/2
No goalscorer: 10/1
Harvey Barnes: 15/2
Dean Bowditch: 7/1
Chuks Aneke: 13/2
Kieran Agard: 5/1
First goalscorer

Oxford win: 6/4
Draw: 23/10
Dons win: 9/5
Result

Biggest Oxford win: N/A
Last Oxford win: N/A
Oxford wins at the Kassam Stadium: 0
Oxford wins: 0

Last draw: 0-0, 17 Sep 2016 (Stadium MK)
Draws at the Kassam Stadium: 0
Draws: 1 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.
 

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