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Match Previews

Preview: Crawley Town

All you need to know ahead of tonight's Sky Bet League Two fixture at Broadfield Stadium...

15 August 2023

MK Dons travel to Crawley Town this evening as they go in search of a third successive league victory to start the 2023/24 season.

Graham Alexander’s men made it two wins from two on Saturday with a 1-0 triumph over Tranmere Rovers at Stadium MK, following up on their 5-3 opening-day success away at Wrexham.

The Dons’ start to the season has them top of the Sky Bet League Two after the first fortnight and is the Club’s best since 2018 in terms of points gained and goals scored after two games.

Alexander and his team could set a new Club record for points and goals with a third straight victory in Sussex this evening – they would need to score twice to reach an unprecedented eight goals from their first three games while nine points would top their previous best of seven.

Kick-off is at 7.45pm.

THE OPPOSITION
Crawley Town have made a strong start to the 2023/24 season themselves, with four points from their opening two matches.

The Red Devils were victorious on opening day, beating Bradford City 1-0 at Broadfield Stadium before earning a point from their trip to Salford City last weekend.

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Scott Lindsey’s team have conceded just once in their first two affairs while, going forwards, they are tied for third amongst Sky Bet League Two teams with 17.5 shots per game. They also boast the third-best passing accuracy (80.6%).

Will Wright is the only Crawley player with a goal to his name this league campaign – their goal in the 1-1 draw with Salford City was scored by way of an own goal. Wright is one of 11 new additions to the squad this summer.

LAST TIME OUT
MK Dons made it back-to-back league victories to start the new season with a 1-0 success over Tranmere Rovers at Stadium MK.

Mo Eisa scored the decisive goal after just seven minutes, glancing home a header from Alex Gilbey’s in-swinging free-kick.

Tranmere did have the better of the second half but Graham Alexander’s stood firm and held on for their first clean sheet and their maiden home win of the 2023/24 campaign.

Crawley Town were held to a 1-1 draw by Salford City as they made it four points from a possible six to start the new term.

An own goal from Luke Garbutt saw the Red Devils go in front five minutes before half-time. Dion Corey did well to meet Will Wright’s free-kick before the ball, inadvertently, made its way into the net off Garbutt.

Wiright and Jay Williams both had chances to double Crawley’s lead and those missed opportunities proved costly when Conor McAleny struck on 47 minutes to level the scores and earn a point for his side.

FIGHTING TALK
Graham Alexander: “I've known Scott (Lindsey) since my youth-team days at Scunthorpe. Our careers went different ways but we've always kept in touch. His journey to where he is now is amazing, what he's had to overcome on and off the field.

“If there's one thing we know about each other, though, is that we want to beat each other. He's done a really good job at Crawley - he took over in a really difficult circumstance, kept them up, and they've started this season really well with good results in the league.

“I know what his ambitions are for the season, and we know it will be a really tough game for us. We have to be our best at Crawley.”

Scott Lindsey: “Tonight will be another tough game against a stiff opposition. MK Dons are top of the league after two great performances in their opening two games against good opposition. They have a very good manager, who I know very well. We are very good friends as we played together in the same youth team, so we do go back a while. He actually wore my boots in his league debut, and we have kept in touch over the years.

“I am hoping that we will continue our good start as we look to get back to winning ways. We need to play well, as we have done in large parts of the opening two matches, and make sure that we take our chances in front of goal. We all know that the Broadfield Stadium can be a fortress, and we are hoping that the fans can help push us on to victory later today."

TEAM NEWS
MK Dons don’t appear to have any fresh injury concerns after Saturday’s win at Stadium MK, leaving the possibility for Graham Alexander to name an unchanged starting XI for the third game in succession.

Matthew Dennis, Dean Lewington and Charlie Waller are the only three injury problems while Conor Grant has also yet to appear since suffering an injury in pre-season.

Crawley Town could also name an unchanged line-up for the third game in a row, having started the same 11 players in both of their opening matches.

Amongst those 11 are five summer signings - Danilo Orsi, Liam Kelly, Jay Williams, Ronan Darcy and Will Wright – as well as last season’s top scorer, Dom Telford.

FACING THEIR FORMER CLUB
Ben Gladwin has yet to appear for Crawley Town this season but the former MK Dons attacking midfielder has been on the books at Broadfield Stadium since January.

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OFFICIALS
Daniel Middleton has been appointed tonight’s referee, taking charge of MK Dons for the very first time.

Middleton, who made his EFL debut last season, has overseen two matches so far this season and produced a total of six yellow cards. He has also awarded two penalties – both in the same game.

His assistant referees are Stephen Finch and Mark Derrien while the fourth official is Shaun Farrer.

HEAD TO HEAD
MK Dons wins: 4
MK Dons wins at Broadfield Stadium: 2
Last MK Dons win: 1-0, 2 Mar 2019 (Stadium MK)
Biggest MK Dons win: 4-0, 3 Nov 2018 (Broadfield Stadium)

Draws: 2
Draws at Broadfield Stadium: 1
Last draw: 2-2, 10 Jan 2015 (Broadfield Stadium)

Crawley Town wins: 2
Crawley Town wins at Broadfield Stadium: 1
Last Crawley Town win: 2-0, 12 Apr 2014 (Stadium MK)
Biggest Crawley Town win: 2-0, 23 Oct 2012 (Broadfield Stadium); 2-0, 12 Apr 2014 (Stadium MK)

ELSEWHERE IN SKY BET LEAGUE TWO
Accrington Stanley v Barrow
Colchester United v AFC Wimbledon
Crewe Alexandra v Newport County
Doncaster Rovers v Mansfield Town
Forest Green Rovers v Swindon Town
Grimsby Town v Salford City
Morecambe v Notts County
Stockport County v Bradford City
Sutton United v Gillingham
Tranmere Rovers v Harrogate Town
Wrexham v Walsall

FOLLOW IT LIVE
Tickets for tonight's clash with Crawley Town can be bought at Broadfield Stadium ahead of kick-off from either the Ticket Office or the Ticket Cabin, priced from £15 adults, £10 concessions, £5 young adults, £4 young persons while under-14s go FREE.

Can't make the game? Watch LIVE on iFollow MK Dons with a Video Match Pass - CLICK HERE to purchase your Video Match Pass for £10!

Live text updates will also be provided on the Match Centre as well as Twitter, while a full report will be available to read shortly after the full-time whistle. Post-match reaction and highlights will follow after.


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