After a disappointing defeat at Lincoln City in midweek, MK Dons have the chance to respond this lunchtime when they take on Portsmouth at Stadium MK.
Russell Martin’s men were in control of Tuesday’s contest up until an 11-minute hat-trick from Brennan Johnson put the match out of reach.
The Dons have bounced back well to defeats this season, only losing successive games on three occasions. They will look to channel that character again to put right some of the wrongs from midweek.
MK Dons’ form since the turn of the year has afforded them the luxury of not having to look too seriously over their shoulder, but they have an opportunity, today, to confirm their Sky Bet League One status once and for all.
A point will be enough for Russell Martin’s men, who are currently 15 points clear of Northampton Town with 15 points left to play for.
Kick-off is at 12.30pm.
Portsmouth currently sit sixth in the Sky Bet League One table as they look to secure a play-off finish. Pompey are three points ahead of Oxford United but do have a game in hand on Karl Robinson's side.
They are one of the top scorers in the division having netted 57 goals in their 40 games this season, however, they have conceded the most out of any side in the play-off places with 42.
Lincoln appointed Danny and Nicky Cowley in March 2021, and have been in impressive form since his appointment at Fratton Park. The Cowley's guided Portsmouth to four successive Sky Bet League One wins in their opening four games. They recorded wins over Ipswich Town, Shrewsbury Town, Rochdale and Wigan Athletic respectively.
In their last two outings, Portsmouth have fell to a 2-1 defeat against Burton Albion and shared the spoils with Crewe Alexandra.
John Marquis leads their goalscoring charts with 15 goals to his name this season and has shown the other side of his game with five assists. Ronan Curtis finds himself in second with nine goals, with Marcus Harness and Tom Naylor are third with eight goals.
LAST TIME OUT
Four goals in 26 second-half minutes saw MK Dons beaten 4-0 by Lincoln City at the LNER Stadium.
After a tightly-contested first period, Lincoln ran away with the match in the second, thanks largely to an 11-minute hat-trick from Brennan Johnson, who was lucky to escape a red card early on.
An own goal from Andrew Fisher, from Cohen Bramall's free-kick, capped off a disappointing evening for the Dons, who fell to only their second defeat in seven matches – a result which leaves them 14th in the Sky Bet League One table with five games left to play.
Portsmouth, meanwhile, played out 0-0 draw with Crewe Alexandra, with John Marquis missing a second-half penalty.
The striker was left to rue his miss as Danny Cowley's side had to settle for a share of the spoils against a Crewe team picking up their first home point in four games.
Russell Martin: "Portsmouth and the Cowley’s are two I have a lot of respect for. A lot of people feel they were unfortunate to lose their job at Huddersfield – they’ve done a good job wherever they’ve been. You know what you’ll get as they are a team full of intensity.
"It’s no surprise to see their results because they are a big club for this level and have a great squad."
Danny Cowley: “I’ve seen a lot of MK Dons and they’ve been a really good watch, so it’s a game that we’re really excited about. We’re looking forward to the challenge and someone told me they have one of the best possession records in Europe, which is pretty impressive.
“Credit to Russell Martin and his group because they’ve got a clear identity and we’ve got a real respect for them.”
MK Dons will be without Warren O’Hora as the defender is likely to miss the remainder of the season with a foot injury.
Louis Thompson and Cameron Jerome both remain doubts, while Ben Gladwin, Kieran Agard and Jay Bird remain on the sidelines.
Lee Brown (hamstring) has joined Alex Bass (foot), Ellis Harrison (knee), Jordy Hiwula (ankle) and Michael Jacobs (knee) on the sidelines for Portsmouth.
Martin Coy will be the man in the middle this lunchtime.
Mr Coy has overseen 26 matches so far this term, producing a total of 64 yellow cards. He has sent off three players and has awarded five penalties.
His assistant referees are Nicholas Cooper and Stephen Finch, while the fourth official is Scott Williams.
HEAD TO HEAD
Dons wins: 1
Dons wins at Stadium MK: 1
Last Dons win: 3-1, 30 Dec 2019 (Stadium MK)
Biggest Dons win: 3-1, 30 Dec 2019 (Stadium MK)
Draws at Stadium MK: 1
Last draw: 1-1, 26 Feb 2013 (Fratton Park)
Portsmouth wins: 4
Portsmouth wins at Stadium MK: 1
Last Portsmouth win: 2-1, 10 Oct 2020 (Fratton Park)
Biggest Portsmouth win: 3-1, 25 Feb 2020 (Fratton Park)
Peterborough United v Northampton Town
Blackpool v Sunderland
Bristol Rovers v Lincoln City
Burton Albion v Plymouth Argyle
Charlton Athletic v Ipswich Town
Hull City v Fleetwood Town
Rochdale v Accrington Stanley
Shrewsbury Town v Doncaster Rovers
Wigan Athletic v Crewe Alexandra
AFC Wimbledon v Swindon Town
Oxford United v Gillingham
Supporters can watch today's Sky Bet League One clash with Portsmouth LIVE on iFollow MK Dons.