MK Dons will be looking to pick up an invaluable three points this afternoon as they travel to Essex to face Chris Powell’s Southend United.
The Dons fell to their third defeat in as many games last time out as a strong second half showing from Doncaster Rovers gave the Yorkshireman all three points.
With the 2017/18 campaign drawing to a close, three points are of paramount importance this afternoon as they look to close the gap on 20th place.
Kick-off is at 3pm.
Southend United finished the 2016/17 season in seventh place – just one point off a play-off position. Four defeats in their final six games resulted in the Shrimpers having to settle for another season in the third tier of English football as they looked to go one better under the experienced Phil Brown this year.
Over the summer, Brown recruited Josh Wright from Gillingham, Michael Turner from Burnley and Stpehen Hendrie from West Ham amongst others on permanent deals. The fresh faces joined an already familiar side with the likes of Ben Coker, Michael Timlin, Simon Cox and Jason Demetriou choosing to stay at Roots Hall.
Phil Brown's stay with the Club came to an end in January after a run of seven defeats in eight games. Brown was replaced by former Charlton Athletic manager Chris Powell who went on to win four of his opening five games in charge of the Essex-based side.
Doncaster Rovers scored twice in the second half to come from behind and beat MK Dons at Stadium MK last weekend.
Just like they did in the reverse fixture, Donny overturned a one-goal deficit which came courtesy of Ike Ugbo's 19th-minute.
John Marquis scored both the goals for the visitors, who condemned the Dons to a third-straight defeat and one which leaves them four points adrift of safety in Sky Bet League One.
Southend fell to a 2-0 defeat against Oxford last weekend as first-half goals from James Henry and Ricardinho gave Karl Robinson's side all three points.
Henry fired Oxford in front in the sixth minute with his ninth goal of the season, dribbling past two defenders and shooting low into the far corner from 16 yards with keeper Mark Oxley rooted to the spot.
Ricardinho doubled the lead in first-half stoppage time when, after an 80-yard run, the Brazilian took a return pass from Jon Obika and saw his low shot deflect under the keeper and in.
Oxford appealed that Ryan Ledson's header had crossed the line when it was pawed out by Oxley. Dru Yearwood shot just wide from the edge of the box for Southend and only a one-handed save by Simon Eastwood denied Anthony Wordsworth.
The Shrimpers nearly pulled one back when Yearwood's fierce drive struck a post before Eastwood saved Simon Cox's shot on the turn.
Dan Micciche confirmed in his pre-match press conference that Osman Sow was back in training, however, the clash with Southend may be too early for the striker. Micciche also stated that Lee Nicholls may be available to face Powell's side while Josh Tymon is also ready for a start.
Southend have suffered a double defensive injury blow which means Ben Coker and Michael Turner will almost certainly miss the rest of the season.
Coker and Turner picked up hamstring and thigh injuries, respectively, in the first half of last weekend's 2-0 loss at Oxford. Goalkeeper Ted Smith (shoulder) and defender Rob Kiernan (knee) are still out.
Gavin Ward will oversee today's clash with Southend. It'll be the fourth time the Surrey official has officiated the Dons this season – he last took charge of the Dons during 2-1 win over Bury last month.
Mr Ward has overseen 41 games this season issuing 115 yellow cards and four reds.
His assistant referees are George Warren and Leigh Crowhurst while the fourth official is Daniel Cook.
Dons wins: 7
Dons wins at Roots Hall: 4
Last Dons win: 2-1, 17 Apr 2017 (Roots Hall)
Biggest Dons win: 3-1, 20 Feb 2010 (Stadium MK)
Draws at Roots Hall: 1
Last draw: 1-1, 21 Nov 2017 (Stadium MK)
Southend wins: 2
Southend wins at Roots Hall: 1
Last Southend win: 3-0, 22 Oct 2016 (Stadium MK)
Biggest Southend win: 3-0, 22 Oct 2016 (Stadium MK)
Chuks Aneke to score first and MK Dons to win 2-1: 40/1
Draw at Half-Time and MK Dons to win at Full-Time: 7/1
*All odds correct at the time of writing
Create a Sky Bet account today and enjoy some fantastic offers – click HERE to register!
Supporters living outside the UK can watch the match LIVE with an iFollow MK Dons Season/Monthly Pass or by purchasing a Match Pass – click HERE for more information!
iFollow MK Dons will have also live commentary of the game for UK-based fans – click HERE to sign up for as little as £4.49 for a month.
Supporters can also stay in touch with the Dons via mkdons.com’s Match Centre, which can be accessed by visiting the home page from 1pm.
There will also be full coverage on the Club’s social media channels – Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat!
A full match report will be available to view on mkdons.com straight after the final whistle.
Tickets for today's clash with Southend United can now only be bought at Roots Hall ahead of kick-off.
Tickets are priced at £25 adults, £18 seniors, £17 students/young persons, £12 juniors and £5 under-9s.