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Match Previews

Preview: Sunderland

All you need to know ahead of today's Sky Bet League clash...

6 February 2021

Match Previews

Preview: Sunderland

All you need to know ahead of today's Sky Bet League clash...

6 February 2021

MK Dons return to Sky Bet League One action this afternoon as Sunderland make the long journey back down to Stadium MK.

The two sides go head-to-head for the second time in four days after Tuesday's Papa John's Trophy tie.

MK Dons have lost just three Sky Bet League One games at Stadium MK this season and have conceded only 13 goals from those 12 home matches.

Russell Martin's men have also won four of their last six league games - form which has them within three points of the top half in Sky Bet League One.

They will both records on the line against a Sunderland outfit who are one of the best away from home in the division - they've not lost a single game on their travels in 2020/21.

Kick-off is at 3pm.

Sunderland currently sixth in Sky Bet League One, are in good form, having lost just one of their last 12 matches in all competitions - a run which has seen them pick up seven victories and keep seven clean sheets.

Lee Johnson has led the revival since being appointed manager back in December 2020. He has also managed to add to his squad in January, signing Carl Winchester from Forest Green Rovers as well as Ross County striker Ross Stewart.

Sunderland papa Gallery 02.02.21 lo res_-21.jpg

Stewart joins a strikeforce that is led by Charlie Wyke, who has 16 goals to his name this season. Chris Maguire, Grant Leadbitter and Aiden McGeady are other goal threats.

Elsewhere, Sunderland have a number of talented individuals in their side with the likes of Max Power, Luke O'Nein and Denver Hume all options for Johnson.

In a weird quirk of fixtures, the two sides met on Tuesday evening in the Papa John's Trophy Quarter-Finals, with MK Dons' Papa John's Trophy run coming to an end as Sunderland put three past a youthful Dons side.

The Dons went behind in unfortunate fashion as Jack Diamond's cross took a deflection off Dean Lewington and wrong-footed Lee Nicholls.

The Dons dominated large spells of the second half, however, two quick-fire Sunderland goals from Aiden McGready and Charlie Wyke took the sting out the tie, as the Black Cats progressed into the Semi-Finals.

Russell Martin: "It will be a tough game, there’s no doubt about it. They will right up there this season, with the players they have for this level. They have real strength of depth. There is an expectation at that Club to be up there and they have a manager who has come in and embraced that.

"I do believe we’ve always performed well against the teams in the top half of the league. We have to make sure the same goes for Saturday.

Lee Johnson: "MK Dons are a good side, they're excellent at recycling the ball, they're strong when they go a goal up, and we certainly have no divine right to expect to turn up and win.

"We have to be absolutely at it, we have to be physically on it and play with a lot of running power. Every opportunity to capitalise and put pressure on must be taken."

MK Dons will be able to welcome back a number of players who were cup-tied for Tuesday's meeting with Sunderland.

Charlie Brown, Harry Darling, Ethan Laird and Deadline Day signing Zak Jules are all available for selection, with the latter in line to make his Dons debut should he feature. Will Grigg, who also joined on Monday, won't be able to play due to terms of his loan deal from Sunderland.

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In terms of injuries, Russell Martin is hopeful of having Andrew Surman invovled once again. The midfielder has been sidelined since limping off in the defeat to Peterborough United in early January.

Kieran Agard, Jay Bird, Jordan Houghton and David Kasumu all remain sidelined, however.

Sunderland look set to remain without defender Bailey Wright, who is sidelined through concussion while Callum McFadzean is a doubt after the defender limped off during Tuesday's clash at Stadium MK.

Today's game may come too soon for new signing Ross Stewart following his move from Ross County but Dion Sanderson, Jake Vokins and Carl Winchester all return after being cup-tied in midweek.

Tom Neild will be the man in the middle this afternoon at Stadium MK.

Mr Neild has overseen 18 matches so far this term, producing a total of 63 yellow cards. He is yet to send someone off, but has awarded two penalties.

His assistant referees are Stuart Butler and Danny Gratton, while the fourth official is Sam Purkiss.

Dons wins: 1
Dons wins at Stadium MK: 2
Last Dons win: 2-1, 14 Nov 2020 (Stadium of Light)
Biggest Dons win: 2-1, 14 Nov 2020 (Stadium of Light)

Draws: 0

Sunderland wins: 5
Sunderland wins at Stadium MK: 3
Last Sunderland win: 3-0, 2 Feb 2021 (Stadium MK)
Biggest Sunderland win: 2-0, 25 Sep 2012 (Stadium MK)

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Supporters can watch today's Sky Bet League One clash with Sundeland LIVE courtesy of iFollow MK Dons.

Season Ticket holders will be able to watch the match for FREE. You will simply need to log-in to your iFollow MK Dons to view the game - click HERE for full information!

All other supporters will be able to enjoy the game by purchasing an iFollow MK Dons Video Match pass - to purchase a £10 Video Match Pass, click HERE and select Buy A Video Match Pass.

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