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Jan 22, 2022 at 3pm UK
MK DonsMK Dons
DoncasterDoncaster Rovers

McEachran (73')
FT(HT: 0-1)
Dodoo (41')
Olowu (58'), Horton (81'), Barlow (90+3')

Preview: MK Dons vs. Doncaster Rovers - prediction, team news, lineups

:Headline: Preview: MK Dons vs. Doncaster Rovers - prediction, team news, lineups:
Sports Mole previews Saturday's League One clash between MK Dons and Doncaster Rovers, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
Sports Mole

Sides at opposite ends of the League One table will lock horns on Saturday, as MK Dons welcome Doncaster Rovers to Stadium MK.

The hosts have established themselves in the playoff places with a five-game unbeaten run, while their visitors are stuck to the foot of the division.

Match preview

Following the departure of Russell Martin in the summer, MK Dons made the decision to appoint Liam Manning as their new manager, and the 36-year-old has enjoyed a strong start to life with the third-tier club.

With 13 wins and 46 points from their opening 26 league outings, the Dons sit fifth having recently climbed further thanks to a five-game unbeaten run, firstly earning a 3-2 win away at Lincoln City before playing out draws against Gillingham and Accrington Stanley.

Manning's men then returned to winning ways against rivals AFC Wimbledon, as Matt O'Riley hit the only goal of the game on the half-hour mark, before they picked up an impressive 2-1 win away at Portsmouth last time out thanks to goals from Mohamed Eisa and Theo Corbeanu.

Now sitting fifth with a three-point lead over seventh-placed Oxford United, the Stadium MK side will aim to stretch their unbeaten league run and bolster their claim for a playoff place with another victory on Saturday.

They welcome a Doncaster Rovers side languishing at the bottom of the table with quickly diminishing hopes of survival.

Having won just four of their 26 league games, earning 16 points, the Yorkshire outfit find themselves 11 points adrift of safety and come into Saturday's game in a run of five straight league defeats.

After picking up a rare 1-0 home win against Shrewsbury Town, Gary McSheffrey's side were thrashed 3-0 by Sunderland and went on to suffer late heartbreak at the hands of Morecambe, eventually losing 4-3 despite leading heading into the final 10 minutes.

Since then, the Reds have suffered narrow defeats at the hands of Fleetwood Town and Wigan Athletic and saw their losing run stretched to five games last time out as Harvey Knibbs, Harrison Dunk and Sam Smith got on the scoresheet in a 3-1 home victory for Cambridge United.

With 11 points to make up in 20 league games, hope is not yet completely lost for the Keepmoat outfit, but any chance of survival would certainly require a monumental positive swing in their form in the coming months, and McSheffrey will hope that his side can trigger that change with a surprise win on their travels.

MK Dons League One form:
  • L
  • W
  • D
  • D
  • W
  • W

MK Dons form (all competitions):
  • W
  • D
  • L
  • D
  • W
  • W

Doncaster Rovers League One form:
  • W
  • L
  • L
  • L
  • L
  • L

Team News

MK Dons will have to deal with the enforced loss of Peter Kioso, who recently returned to Luton Town after an impressive loan spell.

Manning only made one outfield change for their recent trip to Portsmouth, and he could again deploy a similar starting XI in his preferred 3-4-3 system, albeit with one enforced change at the back.

The loan signing of Theo Corbeanu from Wolverhampton Wanderers has bolstered the front three, and the Canadian international netted his first goal for the club at the second time of asking last time out.

Joe Dodoo will lead the Doncaster Rovers line with renewed confidence after netting his first goal of the season last time out, while January arrival Kieran Agard brings another dimension on the flanks.

McSheffrey will likely deploy an unchanged midfield trio of Tommy Rowe, Ethan Galbraith and Matt Smith with Joseph Olowu and Kyle Knoyle partnering up at the heart of a back four.

MK Dons possible starting lineup:
Cumming; Baldwin, O'Hora, Lewington; Watson, O'Riley, Robson, Harvey; Corbeanu, Eisa, Twine

Doncaster Rovers possible starting lineup:
Jones; Seaman, Knoyle, Olowu, Horton; Smith, Galbraith, Rowe; Agard, Dodoo, Bogle

We say: MK Dons 2-0 Doncaster Rovers

Given the form and quality of the two sides, we can only envisage a relatively comfortable home victory on Saturday.

MK Dons have taken huge strides this season, excelling at both ends of the pitch, and they should cruise past the basement side given their impressive momentum.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting a home win in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Home Win:data

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League One Table
1Wigan AthleticWigan24173447242354
3Rotherham UnitedRotherham26165546182853
4Wycombe WanderersWycombe28157646331352
5MK Dons28147747321549
6Oxford UnitedOxford Utd27137743311246
7Plymouth ArgylePlymouth27128744341044
8Ipswich TownIpswich28118947371041
9Sheffield WednesdaySheff Weds26101063632440
11Burton Albion27106113333036
12Cambridge UnitedCambridge279993739-236
13Accrington StanleyAccrington27106113343-1036
14Charlton AthleticCharlton2796123432233
15Bolton WanderersBolton2695123337-432
16Lincoln CityLincoln2687113134-331
17Shrewsbury TownShrewsbury2887132630-431
18Cheltenham TownCheltenham27710103246-1431
19Fleetwood TownFleetwood2778124148-729
20AFC Wimbledon26610103139-828
22Crewe AlexandraCrewe2757152445-2122
24Doncaster RoversDoncaster2754181949-3019
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Serie A Table
1Inter Milan22165153173653
3AC Milan23154447252249
4Atalanta BCAtalanta22127344261843
9Hellas VeronaHellas Verona239684338533
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