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Match Previews

Preview: Plymouth Argyle

All you need to know ahead of today's clash a Home Park...

9 September 2017

Match Previews

Preview: Plymouth Argyle

All you need to know ahead of today's clash a Home Park...

9 September 2017

MK Dons will be hoping it’s a case of third time lucky when they take on Plymouth Argyle this afternoon.

The men from MK1 are in search of their first away league victory of the campaign while they are also looking to register their first win over the Pilgrims in three attempts.

Robbie Neilson’s side go into the match with real confidence after a positive week at Stadium MK, during which they won their Checkatrade Trophy opener and were, perhaps, unlucky not to beat Oxford United.

It certainly appears as though the Dons are beginning to turn the corner and three points in Devon today would certainly continue that upward momentum.

Kick-off is at 3pm.

Plymouth, back in the third tier this season after six years in League Two, sit on the same points as the Dons after the first five games of the campaign.

The Pilgrims started 2017/18 with a 2-1 loss away at Peterborough United but responded by defeating Charlton Athletic at Home Park and then holding Southend United to a draw in Essex.

Derek Adams’ team go into this match on the back of two defeats – a 4-0 loss at home to Scunthorpe United and a 2-1 reverse at Walsall – so they’ll be eager to respond and get back to winning ways in front of their home supporters.

In order to do that, though, they must tighten up at the back – their total of nine conceded is more than all-but four teams in the division.

A strong second-half display saw the Dons fight back from a goal down to draw 1-1 with Oxford United at Stadium MK last Saturday.

Neilson’s men fell behind in the eighth minute when former Don Rob Hall finished off a neat attacking move with a curling shot into the bottom left corner of Lee Nicholls’ goal.

The Dons responded and on the hour mark they restored parity – Callum Brittain the scorer, firing home a left-footed shot from 20 yards.

Robbie Muirhead and Scott Golbourne had chances to win it late on for the men from MK1, who certainly ended the contest as the strongest team.

Plymouth slipped to successive defeats with a 2-1 loss away at Walsall last weekend.

Saddlers loanee Daniel Agyei put his side ahead on 23 minutes with a header from Luke Leahy’s cross.

Jamie Ness almost levelled for the Pilgrims but Erhun Oztumer was able to double Walsall’s advantage with nine minutes to go.

Graham Carey reduced the deficit in the 86th minute but it wasn’t enough for Plymouth, who will be looking to avoid a third-straight loss against the Dons at the weekend.

Robbie Neilson: “Saturday will be a tough game. It’s always difficult down there because they’ve got a really good support and they've got a good home record.

“We expect to go down there and put on a good performance – if we do that hopefully we will win.”

Derek Adams: “They played particularly well in the second half against Oxford. They changed their formation and they did a lot better and were able to get the equaliser.

“They have experience throughout the side. They have a good side, but so do we, and we are looking forward to it – it should be a good game.”

Strikers Osman Sow (thigh) and Kieran Agard (groin) are back in contention after training fully this week.

Chuks Aneke (hamstring) is edging closer after returning to match action for the Under-23s in midweek but won’t feature against Argyle.

Ethan Ebanks-Landell (foot) is a doubt too for Neilson while Joe Walsh (knee) is expected to be out for a further two weeks.

Plymouth are without forward Ryan Taylor (ankle) and defender Oscar Threlkeld (leg) as well as midfielder Antoni Sarcevic, who is suspended.

Otherwise, the Pilgrims have everyone else available for selection including goalkeeper Kyle Letheren who signed for the Home Park club on Wednesday.

Charles Breakspear will be the man in the middle today.

The Surrey official last took charge of the Dons 11 months ago – Breakspear refereed the Sky Bet League One fixture with Southend United in October 2016, producing four yellow cards that afternoon.

His last Plymouth appointment – the Pilgrims’ Sky Bet League Two clash against Wycombe Wanderers back in March during which he made five bookings – also came during the 2016/17 campaign.

So far this season, Breakspear has officiated seven matches and produced his yellow card 26 times. He has, though, made just one dismissal.

This afternoon's assistant referees are Justin Amey and Robert Dabbs while the fourth official is Mark Derrien.

Dons wins: 0
Dons wins at Home Park: 0
Last Dons win: N/A
Biggest Dons win: N/A

Draws: 0
Draws at Home Park: 0
Last draw: N/A

Plymouth wins: 2
Plymouth wins at Home Park: 1
Last Plymouth win: 1-0, 25 Apr 2011 (Home Park)
Biggest Plymouth win: 3-1, 18 Jan 2011 (Stadium MK)

Dons win – 6/4
Draw – 23/10
Plymouth win – 9/5

First goalscorer
Kieran Agard – 4/1
Osman Sow – 11/2
Ryan Seager – 13/2
Gboly Ariyibi – 8/1
No goalscorer – 9/1
Graham Carey – 11/2
Nadir Ciftci – 6/1
Jake Jervis – 6/1
Nathan Blissett – 7/1

Osman Sow to score first and MK Dons to win 2-0 – 45/1

Sky Bet tip
Exactly two goals to be scored – 9/4

*all odds correct at the time of writing

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Supporters can also stay in touch with the Dons via’s Match Centre, which can be accessed by visiting the home page from 1.30pm.

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

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