MK Dons travel to Vale Park this evening looking to return to winning ways in Sky Bet League Two.
Paul Tisdale’s men played well in September but finished the month with just four points to their name courtesy of four draws and one defeat.
Their aim for October will be to turn those positive displays into victories and, should that happen, they would likely climb back up the table and return to the top seven.
Tonight’s fixture is also the start of a run which will see the Dons play five straight games against sides below them in the table. While every game is tough and no opponent should be underestimated, Tisdale and his team will, no doubt, see this stretch as an opportunity to put some results together.
Kick-off is at 7.45pm.
Port Vale go into this evening’s encounter unbeaten in their last four outings, a run which was preceded by three straight defeats.
Neil Aspin’s side kicked off the run with a 1-1 draw with Forest Green Rovers before beating Northampton Town 2-0 at Vale Park. They then travelled to Alexandra Stadium MK and walked away with a 1-0 win before holding high-flying Exeter City to a draw last weekend.
A key factor behind their success has been their sturdy defence – their total of nine goals conceded is tied for fourth best in the division. At the other end, strikers Tom Pope, Idris Kanu and Ricky Miller are all proven goal threats.
MK Dons were forced to settle for a point at the weekend, drawing 1-1 with Tranmere Rovers at Stadium MK.
Tranmere opened the scoring 37 minutes in courtesy of Jonny Smith, who tapped into an empty net moments after Lee Nicholls denied James Norwood with a brilliant save.
Paul Tisdale’s side responded just before the break – Chuks Aneke sweeping home his fourth goal of the campaign from a Dean Lewington cross – but they weren’t able to add their tally despite a dominant second half.
Port Vale held third-placed Exeter City to a 1-1 draw at Vale Park, to extend their unbeaten to four games.
Both sides had chances in the first half but it was Exeter who edged ahead three minutes into the second period – Nicky Law converting from Hiram Boateng’s low cross.
The Valiants pushed for an equaliser for the remainder of the contest and they were eventually rewarded in stoppage time when Idris Kanu headed home following a goalmouth scramble.
Defender George Williams: “Port Vale is another long one but hopefully we can do the right things and send them home happy with a win
“If you can put a couple of results together, your league position can change dramatically. We’re not panicking.”
Port Vale manager Neil Aspin: "I think [MK Dons] are a very good footballing team from what I've seen on the clips. They are a side who can cause you problems if it all clicks together.
"It's a team that will present different problems for us, but we have to see if we can impose ourselves onto them and cause them issues."
MK Dons boss Paul Tisdale didn’t reveal any fresh injury concerns in his post-match press conference on Saturday.
He will definitely be without Peter Pawlett and Conor McGrandles tonight while Lawson D’Ath, Ryan Harley and Mathieu Baudry likely all remain sidelined despite making progress in their respective rehabilitations.
Striker Osman Sow missed the last two matches but no update has been given on his status.
Port Vale are expected to be without the services of defenders Cristian Montano and James Gibbons but midfielder David Worrall could return after missing the last two games through illness.
Ross Joyce will referee tonight’s affair at Vale Park.
The Cleveland-based official last took charge of MK Dons in February, running the rule over the goalless draw with Rochdale – a night where he produced just three yellow cards.
Joyce has booked 39 players in 11 games so far this campaign but has made just one sending off.
His assistant referees this evening are Matthew Parry and Ian Dudley while the fourth official is Joe Hull.
Dons wins: 3
Dons wins at Vale Park: 1
Last Dons win: 1-0, 22 Nov 2014 (Stadium MK)
Biggest Dons win: 3-0, 21 Dec 2013 (Stadium MK)
Draws at Vale Park: 2
Last draw: 0-0, 25 Mar 2017 (Vale Park)
Port Vale wins: 4
Port Vale wins at Vale Park: 3
Last Port Vale win: 1-0, 9 Oct 2016 (Stadium MK)
Biggest Port Vale win: 3-1, 4 Apr 2007 (Vale Park)
Chuks Aneke to score first and MK Dons to win 1-0 – 22/1
Tickets, which can now only be bought at Vale Park, are priced at £22 adults, £17 seniors and young persons, and £10 under-18s while under-12s tickets are priced at £2.
Can’t make the match? Supporters will be able to watch the game live on iFollow MK Dons - click HERE to purchase a £10 Match Pass and enjoy all the action on your phone, tablet or computer!
iFollow MK Dons subscribers will have access to live commentary of this game.
Supporters can also stay in touch with the action via mkdons.com’s Match Centre, which can be accessed by visiting the home page from 6pm.
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 along with full reaction from Paul Tisdale and a player. Highlights will be available to view from midnight.
Elsewhere in Sky Bet League Two…
Cambridge United v Forest Green Rovers
Carlisle United v Grimsby Town
Cheltenham Town v Morecambe
Colchester United v Yeovil Town
Crewe Alexandra v Swindon Town
Exeter City v Stevenage
Mansfield Town v Oldham Athletic
Newport County v Macclesfield Town
Northampton Town v Bury
Notts County v Crawley Town
Tranmere Rovers v Lincoln City