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Storylines: Bolton Wanderers

1 February 2017

mkdons.com details the storylines to follow heading into the Sky Bet League One clash with Bolton Wanderers at Stadium MK...

Three in a row
Robbie Neilson’s Dons have the opportunity to stretch their winning run to three games on Saturday – a feat the Club hasn’t achieved since the 2014/15 campaign.

While this weekend’s opponents -  second-placed Bolton – will provide a stern home test for the men from MK1, they couldn’t be going into the match in much better form, especially at home where they’ve won four of their last five games.

“Any time we play now, teams will need to be on the back foot a little bit more,” said George Baldock.

“Bolton will be a tough game but at the moment we’re in good form and full of confidence – it’s going to stand us in good stead.”

Goals galore
After a slow start to the season in front of goal, the Dons’ attack has ignited over the last month and they go into this weekend’s game having netted nine times in 180 minutes of football – that’s a goal every 20 minutes.

Chuks Aneke has been a revelation since his fitness levels have improved to a point where he can last the majority of a game – the 23-year-old has scored four goals in his last two outings, including a stunning strike in the 4-0 victory over Peterborough United.

Kieran Agard has found the net four times in his last four games, taking his tally for the season into double figures, while Harvey Barnes has scored in each of his appearances since joining on loan from Leicester City.

Add to that Dean Bowditch, just returning from a calf injury; Ben Reeves, who is recovering from a groin problem; new signing Maecky Ngombo and a revitalised Nicky Maynard, there is plenty of optimism that the goalscoring form can continue.

New Dons to get their home bows?
Dons supporters have already had the chance to see January signings Robbie Muirhead and Harvey Barnes in action – particularly the latter, who has made an excellent start to life with the Club having scored two in his first two games.

Now they’ll be looking to see deadline recruits Maecky Ngombo and Stuart O’Keefe, who could make their debuts this weekend.

Neilson will no doubt provide an update on his new players’ progress in training when he speaks to the media on Thursday.

Update on the skipper, Reeves
In his Thursday press conference, Neilson is sure to speak about the fitness of captain Dean Lewington, who missed the 4-0 win over Peterborough United due to an ankle injury.

Lewington’s absence would be a blow although George Williams has filled in comfortably when needed this season.

The other Don to monitor is Ben Reeves, who has missed the last two matches because of a groin problem – his return, whenever it comes, will provide Neilson will another exciting attacking option.

Bumper crowd expected for Gift of Football clash
Stadium MK is set to play host to its biggest league crowd of the season this weekend, with the Club having to open the upper tier to accommodate demand for the Gift of Football match.

The attendance has already smashed the total of 12,340 who attended the 0-0 draw with Oxford United back in September and the Club will have the record league total of 21,345 – set back in March for the Family Fun Day fixture with Brighton & Hove Albion – in its sights.

Whether that target is surpassed or not, there is sure to be a cracking atmosphere on Saturday – something captain Dean Lewington believes will provide a lift.

“A few times we’ve had pretty much a full bottom bowl and you can tell that this stadium was designed for that with the acoustics and the way the noise stays in,” the captain told REDDOT. “It’s been electric on those occasions and they are great games to be involved in.”

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