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Match Previews

Preview: Barrow

All you need to know ahead of today's Sky Bet League Two clash at Stadium MK...

14 October 2023

Match Previews

Preview: Barrow

All you need to know ahead of today's Sky Bet League Two clash at Stadium MK...

14 October 2023

MK Dons take on Barrow this afternoon at Stadium MK, eager to return to winning ways in Sky Bet League Two.

Graham Alexander’s men are without a league victory in seven entering today’s clash in Milton Keynes – a run of form which has seen them drop to 16th in the Sky Bet League Two table, five points adrift of the top seven.

The Dons have had more possession and more shots than each of their opponents in their last five matches but will need to find ways to convert that dominance into points if they are to climb back to the upper echelons of the division.

Alexander will be hoping his side can do just that today, in their first-ever meeting with the Bluebirds from Cumbria.

Kick-off is at 3pm.

Barrow, currently 12th in the Sky Bet League Two table, will arrive at Stadium MK with confidence after holding league-leaders Notts County to a draw last time out.

Pete Wild’s team have, though, tasted victory just once in their last six league fixtures - a 3-2 triumph over Doncaster Rovers at the end of last month. Before then, their last win was a 1-0 success away at Harrogate Town at the start of September.


That victory at Harrogate was one of only two they have enjoyed away from home so far this season. They have also picked up two draws on their travels, while scoring six goals and conceding seven.

In total, the Bluebirds have netted 13 times across their 11 league games, conceding 12. Striker Emile Acquah is their top marksmen – he has scored four goals in his 11 appearances this campaign.

MK Dons were made to pay for two defensive lapses as they were beaten 2-1 by Gillingham at the MEMS Priestfield Stadium

Macauley Bonne put the Gills ahead when he pounced on a loose ball inside the Dons half and converted one-on-one. The home side won possession in MK Dons territory again on 55 minutes, with Tom Nichols teeing Scott Malone to make it 2-0.

Ellis Harrison headed home from Jonathan Leko’s cross to reduce the deficit but Graham Alexander’s men were unable to salvage a result – Max Dean went close to a superb late equaliser but his stoppage-time volley was saved by Jake Turner.

Barrow held table-toppers Notts County to a 1-1 draw in their last Sky Bet League Two outing.

David McGoldrick put the Magpies ahead just prior to the quarter-hour mark, converting from the penalty spot after Macaley Langstaff was brought down by Bluebirds defender James Chester.

Barrow had a number of chances to level and finally did so with 11 minutes left to play when Emile Acquah earned them a penalty of their own. The striker’s header struck a Notts County arm and that provided Dean Campbell the chance to equalise from 12-yards – an opportunity he took advantage of.

Graham Alexander: “There is no more pressure on this game than the last game or the next game. There is pressure in every game we play, you can't turn it on and off.

“I've met Pete (Wild) a few times before, though I don't think I've managed against him though. He did an excellent job at Halifax (Town), and now at Barrow. Every team we face will be motivated, with good players and that challenge will not change on Saturday.”

Pete Wild: "We have got to respect their top players and respect that they are a top side in this league but with that, we have to go and impose ourselves. We have proved over the last few weeks that we can live it with the top teams in this league, we can dominate the football, we can tactically set up to be hard to beat.

"We are going to have to be all those things on the road again on Saturday and if we are, we give ourselves a fantastic opportunity to get something out of the game. If we are not and we are half a yard off it, teams like MK Dons will punish you."

MK Dons will be without Daniel Harvie, with the full-back set to serve a one-match suspension for the red card he received last weekend at Gillingham.

Harvie’s absence leaves the Dons short on defenders, with Tommy Smith away on international duty and Dean Lewington sidelined through injury for another couple of weeks.

Matthew Dennis limped out of the defeat to Gillingham and it remains to be seen whether his issue will be enough to keep him out of today’s game. Ash Hunter and Nathan Harness remain sidelined, though Hunter is getting closer to returning to training.

DH Gillingham ODDS 07.10.23 hi res_ copy.jpg

Barrow have less concerns heading into this game, following the return of four players from injury during their midweek EFL Trophy tie at Morecambe.

Mazeed Ogungbo, Tom White, Courtney Duffus and Ben Whitfield were the quartet who made their comebacks, with Whitfield, in particular, impressing manager Pete Wild. Left-back Junior Tiensia is also available for selection after serving a suspension.

Will Finnie will take charge of today’s match at Stadium MK.

The fifth-year EFL official has overseen 12 games so far this season, producing a total of 39 yellow cards. He has brandished his red card on three occasions and also awarded one penalty.

Will Finnie2.jpg

Despite refereeing in the EFL since 2019, this will be only Finnie’s second Dons appointment – his last coming back in January 2022 when he oversaw the 1-1 draw with Accrington Stanley at the Wham Stadium. That day he sent off Accy midfielder Liam Coyle for serious foul play.

His assistant referees are Abbas Khan and Hugh Gilroy while the fourth official is Stuart Butler.

No previous meetings.

Notts County v Mansfield Town, 12.30pm
AFC Wimbledon v Bradford City
Crewe Alexandra v Tranmere Rovers
Doncaster Rovers v Sutton United
Forest Green Rovers v Colchester United
Grimsby Town v Accrington Stanley
Harrogate Town v Stockport County
Swindon Town v Newport County
Walsall v Gillingham
Wrexham v Salford City

Tickets are still on sale from the Box Office and online, priced from £26 adults, £20 over-65s and under-25s, £8 under-21s and £5 under-14s, while under-7s can watch from as little as £3.

To book tickets CLICK HERE, visit the Box Office at Stadium MK or call 01908 622933. Tickets will be available to buy right up until kick-off from the Box Office.

Can't make the game? Supporters can WATCH this fixture live on iFollow MK Dons for £10 - to purchase a Video Match Pass CLICK HERE!

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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