League Two’s Top Two Ready to Do Battle as Lincoln City Travel to MK…
Lincoln City could make a giant stride towards securing the League Two title this weekend when they travel to closest challengers MK Dons. The two sides led the way for much of the early part of the campaign, but while the Dons dropped away over Christmas, Lincoln have remained consistent throughout and lead the way by a healthy distance with six games to go.
Lincoln City Travel to MK Dons as League Two’s Top Two Prepare For Battle
Flying Starts and Recent Form
Both of these sides made flying starts to the campaign (for MK Dons, bar a slightly sticky period in September) and prior to the hefty Christmas schedule, many were predicting them to keep the pace throughout the season. Paul Tisdale’s Dons succumbed to the packed festive schedule and even dropped out of the play-off positions at one stage, but have clawed their way back after a change in shape reversed their fortunes.
Lincoln, meanwhile, have been top for the majority of the season as Danny Cowley continues to work his magic with the Imps. They are yet to lose in the league in 2019, with their only defeat coming against Premier League side Everton in the FA Cup, with their last League Two loss coming away at Crewe Alexandra on Boxing Day.
There’s no doubt that both sides will be riding waves of momentum coming into this one; Lincoln due to their astounding form and MK Dons because of their dramatic improvement since the middle of February, culminating in a late winner at Forest Green Rovers last weekend.
These two sides met at Sincil Bank back in September when the Dons were still adapting to life back in League Two following their shock relegation, and the last-gasp nature of their loss was the biggest indicator to that point that the season was going to be nowhere near as easy as they first predicted.
Jason Shackell’s header in the 94th minute completed the turnaround for the Imps after Shay McCartan provided the equaliser to Rhys Healey’s opener.
That was the first time MK Dons had lost to Lincoln in their history, but it was also the first time they had played them in over ten years due to Lincoln’s demise down into non-league and the Dons’ ascent into League One and beyond.
The 2007/08 campaign saw a 4-0 win at Stadium MK for the hosts courtesy of Leon Knight’s brace and goals for Lloyd Dyer and Aaron Wilbraham, while goals from Carl Regan and Jemal Johnson completed a 2-1 win at Sincil Bank later on in the season.
A 3-2 win and a 2-2 draw came before that in the 2006/07 season, and there were also two games between the sides the season before; a 1-1 draw in the FA Cup before MK Dons won 2-1 in the replay.
Both sides are, no doubt, going to up for this game as they prepare to put a dent in each other’s season as such as important time, but Lincoln’s eight-point cushion over the Dons is a clear sign of how good a side they are. They’ve proved it enough times already over the course of the season and, despite MK Dons’ impressive home form, Lincoln have more than enough quality to overcome that.
A win for the visitors will surely see them become champions elect, and it’s going to take a mammoth effort to prevent that. The Dons need to preserve their mammoth efforts for other games though, particularly the final-day showdown with Mansfield Town. They should be prepared for all eventualities.
Prediction: MK Dons 1-2 Lincoln City