MK Dons will be looking to reach the Fourth Round of the Emirates FA Cup on Saturday when they take on Queens Park Rangers.
Robbie Neilson’s side started 2018 with a defeat at the Kassam Stadium on New Year's Day. After overcoming Peterborough United with just nine men two days prior, the men from MK1 were the victim of some sharp finishing from Oxford United.
Attention now turns to the Third Round of The Emirates FA Cup as the Dons make the journey to the capital. The cup tie will serve as a much-needed break from Sky Bet League One action for Neilson's men who will be hoping to cause an upset this weekend.
Kick-off is at 3pm.
Currently playing their football in the Sky Bet Championship, Queens Park Rangers occupy 17th place in the division - six points above the relegation places. The Hoops have endured an indifferent season so far, however, they do come into the tie in good form after their 2-1 win over Cardiff City last Monday.
At the helm is the charismatic Ian Holloway, who is amidst his second spell as manager of QPR. The 54-year-old also enjoyed a stint with the London-outfit during his playing days where he featured over 140 times.
Holloway's side is full of talented individuals with the likes of Alex Smithies, Nedum Onuoha, James Perch and Jamie Mackie all boasting Premier League experience. Elsewhere, QPR have a number of experienced Football League players with Luke Freeman, Matt Smith and Alex Baptiste all representing The Rs.
MK Dons were unable to build on the spirited victory over Peterborough United as they fell to a 3-1 defeat at Oxford United.
Wes Thomas put the U’s ahead on 15 minutes but Alex Gilbey’s header drew the Dons level soon after.
Oxford, however, restored their lead in first-half stoppage time through Gino van Kessel before fellow striker Jonathan Obika sealed the victory with a 58th-minute goal.
Goals from Matt Smith and debutant strike partner Paul Smyth saw Queens Park Rangers come from behind to book an important Sky Bet Championship victory over Cardiff City at Loftus Road.
Robbie Neilson: "It's an opportunity to go and impress. We'll go there looking to put on a performance for the fans that are coming down.
"It’s about winning football matches and we haven’t been doing that. We have to keep working hard to turn things around."
Ian Holloway: "The Emirates FA Cup is a magnificent competition. It’s been belittled in recent years because the Premier League is seen as the be all and end all nowadays.
"It’s a fantastic competition though because it involves our whole country. Whoever you play; wherever you play – it’s the Emirates FA Cup!"
The Dons will have Joe Walsh available for selection once again after he missed the defeat to Oxford United through suspension, however, Osman Sow will be unavailable for the clash as he serves the second match of his three-game suspension.
Robbie Neilson will be looking to reintroduce both Callum Brittain and Aidan Nesbitt to the squad should they be deemed injury free. Finally, Ike Ugbo will be hoping to make his debut for MK Dons after completing his loan move from Chelsea earlier this week.
Both Joel Lynch and James Perch will be looking for minutes this weekend, the duo featured in a behind closed doors friendly for QPR this week. Former Dons striker, Jamie Mackie, however, will miss the tie after undergoing surgery on a back problem.
QPR also welcomed back Eberechi Eze from his loan spell at Wycombe Wanderers this week. The young forward impressed during his time at Adams Park and could be in line for his debut this weekend.
James Linington will be the man in the middle this weekend – the first time he has officiated the Dons this season.
The Newport official took charge of the Dons’ 2-0 defeat with Brighton in the Emirates FA Cup last season, a game in which he produced two yellow cards.
In total this season, Linington has booked 146 players and sent off four.
His assistant referees are Mark Dwyer and Lee Venamore Hyde while the fourth official is Nicholas Kinseley.
Dons wins: 2
Dons wins at the Loftus Road: 1
Last Dons win: 2-0, 5 Mar 2016 (Stadium MK)
Biggest Dons win: 4-2, 26 Jan 2013 (Loftus Road)
Draws at the Loftus Road: 1
Last draw: 1-1, 07 Jan 2012 (Loftus Road)
QPR wins: 2
QPR wins at the Loftus Road: 2
Last QPR win: 3-0, 24 Oct 2015 (Loftus Road)
Biggest QPR win: 3-0, 24 Oct 2015 (Loftus Road)
Matt Smith to score first and MK Dons to win 2-1 – 80/1
Sky Bet tip
MK Dons to win and Both teams to Score – 7/1
*all odds correct at the time of writing
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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 Saturday's Emirates FA Cup tie with Queens Park Rangers are priced from £15 adults, £10 seniors/under-22s, £5 students/under-18s and FREE for under-8s when accompanied by a full-paying adult.
Tickets can now only be purchased from Loftus Road.