MK Dons Look to Extend Unbeaten Streak With Visit to Crawley Town
After a fairly uninspiring September, where just four points were collected from five games, MK Dons came flying out of the block in October, recording five consecutive league wins before being halted by Mansfield last weekend in a 1-1 draw. Their terrific form throughout October has seen them climb from 13th in the League Two table to second, just two points behind leaders Lincoln City. The tough part begins now, though, as they will have to maintain this sort of form going into the winter months where fatigue can often play a big part on the squad. They start this sequence of games with a trip to Crawley Town.
Non-Movers v Big Climbers
The differing forms of these two sides over the last month has told us a lot about these two sides. Crawley started October one point ahead of the Dons but end it eight points behind, while they have also dropped one place in the league, while their opponents have climbed 11 places in the same time.
That’s not to say that Crawley haven’t been impressive, though. They were comfortable winners over Cambridge United at home and also thrashed high-flying Newport County at home, 4-1.
However, their defence looks to be their weak point as they only kept one clean sheet last month, and that came against a side who are well and truly in a relegation battle this season in Cambridge. A shaky defence is the last thing you want against a side whose attack is finally finding its feet after a shoddy September.
Chuks Aneke, Kieran Agard and Rhys Healey, who have started as the attacking trio in a 3-4-3 formation in the last two games, are linking up excellently already, having usually been rotated amongst each other earlier in the season. In fact, last week’s draw at Mansfield was the first game since September 1st, a 1-1 draw at Swindon, in which neither of the trio has scored – Joe Walsh got the only goal in that game and Jordan Houghton’s stunner rescued a point last week.
Crawley have a good level of experience in their squad with the likes of captain Jimmy Smith and winger Filipe Morais. The pair took caretaker charge of the club after Harry Kewell’s departure as manager and remained in charge until the appointment of Gabriele Cioffi.
Morais, though, was a massive coup for the club when he arrived in the summer, joining from Championship side Bolton Wanderers, having spent a season there as well as the previous three in League One with Bradford City.
The Portuguese midfielder has provided four goals since his arrival, coming from 15 appearances, and has been a thorn in the Dons’ side the last few years after their frequent meetings with Bradford.
The attack and the defence has been sound for most of the season for MK Dons – it’s the midfield that was causing all of the worry. However, there was little of that last week after the performance of Jordan Houghton.
Not only did he score a stunner, but he provided a commanding performance that was worthy of a midfielder at the highest level. He has looked a quality signing all season but this performance defied all of the expectations set upon him.
In another tough away game, the Dons will need him to provide something of similar quality if they are to leave Sussex with a desirable result.
MK Dons haven’t exactly been free-scoring this season but they seem to be doing it enough to get the job done recently and that’s likely going to be the outcome again this weekend.
Crawley aren’t a bad side but they don’t look like one that is going to majorly trouble the upper echelons of the table so a game like this should be a fairly routine one for Paul Tisdale’s side.
Prediction: Crawley Town 0-2 MK Dons