The Big Match Preview: - MK Dons (H) - Monday 9 February 2015
MK missed out on the play-offs last season but with a quality young manager in Karl Robinson and a squad armed to win football matches, they were surely expected to reach the top six and they look likely to do so at the very least. The chairman Peter Winkelman is a seemingly ambitious man and no doubt he will be looking to take his club to the next level and that is the Championship.
Ins and Outs
The main story surrounding the club’s dealings in the January transfer window is 18 year old Dele Alli’s £5 Million move to Tottenham Hotspur with the home grown teen remaining at Stadium mk on loan until the end of the season.
The window also saw the return of Keith Andrews to the club, on loan from Bolton Wanderers on loan until the end of the season. The Dublin born midfielder was a key member of the Dons team that won the League Two title in 2007-08 and he returns after 7 years away.
Promising striker Devante Cole, son of former Manchester United, Newcastle United and England forward Andy Cole, has joined the club on loan from Manchester City. The 19 year old has had a spell with Barnsley already this season and he scored 7 goals in 23 appearances for the South Yorkshire club.
Current League Position
MK Dons are currently third in League One and missed an opportunity to go top of the table after being held to a 0-0 draw at home to Bristol City at the weekend. They are currently a point outside the automatic promotion places and Swindon Town who currently have hold of the second position. They are also 6 points clear of fourth placed Preston North End, as a gap has started to open up with the top three picking up some real momentum.
Jordan Pickford is likely to start in goal for The Bantams after the red card he picked up in the weekend’s 2-2 draw at Port Vale was overturned. Phil Parkinson could make changes to the team and Gary MacKenzie could make his debut at centre half. The likes of Mark Yeates, Billy Clarke and Francois Zoko could also feature.
Dean Bowditch is a doubt for The Dons after coming off with a hamstring injury at the weekend. Kyle McFadzean will definitely miss out through suspension after collecting his tenth booking of the season during the game against Bristol City on Saturday. Ben Reeves in back in training, however, after recent injury and loan signing Keith Andrews is also pushing for a start.
Last Meetings with MK Dons:
Our last meeting with MK Dons was back in September as The Bantams were beaten 2-0 at Stadium mk with Benik Afobe scoring a brace to see his team through to the fourth round of the Capital One Cup. A week earlier the two sides met in the league with the venue the same and it was City who came out on top in that one. A quick fire double from Aaron Mclean and Billy Clarke midway through the first half gave The Bantams a comfortable lead only for Dean Lewington to half the deficit just before half time – City held on for a fantastic three points.
MK Dons’ Recent Form
07/02/15 | MK Dons 0-0 Bristol City | League One | D
31/01/15 | Crewe Alexandra 0-5 MK Dons | League One | W
27/01/15 | Scunthorpe United 1-1 MK Dons | League One | D
24/01/15 | MK Dons 2-0 Barnsley | League One | W
17/01/15 | MK Dons 1-0 Sheffield United | League One | D
An England U19 international midfielder, Dele Alli was praised by Dons’ manager Karl Robinson as he said ‘he could go on and be anything.’ He was signed on transfer deadline day by Premier League side Tottenham Hotspur for £5 Million, though the deal saw him remain at stadiummk on loan until the end of the season. Alli has 12 goals in 33 appearances so far this season, a great return for a midfielder and the 6 feet 2 inches tall 18 year old has a real eye for goal with long range shooting. In total he has made 77 career appearances with 20 goals for the Dons after he came through the club’s youth system.
Ref Watch – Paul Tierney
Paul will referee his 26th game of the season on Monday night and the last one he was in charge of, ironically, was Sunderland’s 3-1 FA Cup 4th round replay victory against Fulham last week. In 25 games he has issued 88 yellow cards, an average of 3.52 yellow cards per game. In those 25 matches, he has issued 6 red cards – his most recent in Fulham’s 5-0 home defeat to Watford, The Cottagers’ keeper Marcus Bettinelli was dismissed.
Despite home advantage, the visitors arrive as clear favourites for the victory according to Sky Bet. City’s odds show they are deemed slightly more likely to win however, than the game to result in a draw.
Bradford – 11/5
Draw – 12/5
MK Dons – 13/10