MK Dons vs Portsmouth Preview

By Jim Bonner
Last updated : 09 February 2018

6,000 Portsmouth fans will make the journey to stadium:mk tomorrow hoping to finally see their team win a match this calendar year.

Team News

Christian Burgess is suspended after receiving a second yellow card for hit (not) deliberate handball against Doncaster last Saturday. Luke McGee will return in goal after Stephen Henderson was ruled out for the rest of the season with a thigh injury. Adam May is also available again after serving his one-match-ban.

MK will be without the suspended Chuks Aneke whilst Osman Sow and Joe Walsh have also been ruled out due to knee injuries.

The Match

Despite losing Burgess and Henderson, the army of Pompey fans making the trip to the home of roundabouts and cow sheds will have every reason to be hopeful of a first victory in 2018 because of how poor MK Dons are.

Tomorrow's opponents were easily beaten in the reverse fixture and have only won once in the league since mid-November, although that was against Peterborough despite playing the majority of that match with nine men.

Whilst Pompey haven't been too clever away from home and there's always the lingering feeling that they will hand a new manager their first win, there can't be any excuses for not beating a team currently lying in 22nd place in League One, despite their games in hand.

Kenny Jackett has already supposedly named his starting eleven by confirming that Anton Walkes will replace Burgess at centre back with Nathan Thompson moving to right back and Adam May coming back into centre midfield alongside Ben Close. But is he bluffing?

It wouldn't be too surprising to discover this is a ruse and, in fact, Oli Hawkins moves into centre back with Brett Pitman returning up front after his equaliser from the bench on Saturday.

Whoever plays, they have to be good enough to defeat an MK side lacking in any real quality and confidence. Failure to win tomorrow would end any realistic hopes of finishing in the top six and would be a hell of an anti-climax for the thousands who bothered to travel.

Predicted Starting Line-Ups

MK Dons

GK: Lee NICHOLLS

RB: George WILLIAMS

CB: Scott WOOTTON

CB: Elliott WARD

LB: Ethan EBANKS-LANDELL

DM: Alex GILBEY

DM: Ed UPSON

RM: Robbie MUIRHEAD

AM: Conor McGRANDLES

LM: Marcus TAVERNIER

CF: Kieran AGARD

Pompey

GK: Luke McGEE

RB: Nathan THOMPSON

CB: Anton WALKES

CB: Matt CLARKE

LB: Dion DONOHUE

DM: Ben CLOSE

DM: Adam MAY

RM: Gareth EVANS

AM: Connor RONAN

LM: Matty KENNEDY

CF: Brett PITMAN

Last Time: Milton Keynes Dons 2 Portsmouth 2 (League One - 06/10/2012)

Brian Howard missed an early penalty but Izale McLeod slotted in Pompey's first goal against his former club before Gabor Gyepes headed in a second goal.

Adam Webster put the ball in his own net before the break to reduce the deficit and Darren Potter bundled in an equaliser in a pulsating game at stadium:mk.

My Prediction

If what Jackett says is true then the lack of any bite in midfield is worrying. However, whoever is selected should be enough to beat MK Dons. Just.

Milton Keynes Dons 1 Portsmouth 2

Portsmouth Match Reports

Sky Bet League One Sat 17th February 15:00

Southend United 3 - 1 Portsmouth

Last game - Match Centre


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