Table-Toppers MK Dons Make Short Trip to Stevenage
MK Dons moved to the top of League Two last weekend with a comfortable 2-0 win over bottom side Macclesfield Town. It was aided by the fact that Lincoln’s trip to Yeovil was postponed due to international call-ups for the hosts, but the fact is the Dons now have a lead to protect. Lincoln will remain a game in hand until their game is rescheduled but the Dons mustn’t get complacent – they need to play their part in making sure the gap between themselves and Lincoln is more than three points by the time they do make their visit to Somerset. Starting off the Dons’ stint at the top of the table is a short trip to Stevenage.
With all the current League Two talk surrounding how good the Dons look, Stevenage’s impressive start has been somewhat undermined. The Boro finished 16th last season, disappointingly low for a side who have been in League One in the recent past. This season, though, they currently sit ninth, just two points behind Tranmere Rovers in the play-off places.
What has been the downfall for Dino Maamria’s side, though, is their inconsistency. Wins away from home at tough visits like Crawley and Carlisle have been overshadowed by a loss at home to lowly Cambridge United and an 8-0 thumping by Charlton in the Checkatrade Trophy. As well as this, their November form is less than impressive. They have one win in four, a 3-2 win over struggling Oldham, lost 4-0 twice, to AFC Wimbledon in the Checkatrade Trophy and to Bury in the league, and were knocked out of the FA Cup by Plymouth Argyle.
A heavy loss is the last thing you need to prepare for the visit of a team who are unbeaten in ten league games, so there is a worry that this inconsistent run of Stevenage’s could become a bout of poor form, especially if the Dons were to inflict another defeat on them, as their final game of the month sees them travel to Swindon.
Unlike Macclesfield last week, whose strikers had just three goals between them, four of Stevenage’s forwards have hit three goals already. Kurtis Guthrie, Ben Kennedy, Danny Newton and Alex Revell haven’t been able to break away from each other in terms of the goalscoring charts, but the 12 goals between have been a huge help to the Boro’s season so far.
Revell has started the last three games for Stevenage and, considering this game will see him come up against one of his former sides, it’s likely he’ll be deployed up front once again. The target-man is the joint-leader in assists this season, most likely due to his height, so he will be a danger for the Dons back-line.
Any of the MK Dons attacking trio could be selected for this section every week considering their stellar performances. Chuks Aneke leads the way with eight goals, Kieran Agard is one behind with seven and Rhys Healey has five.
Away from home, though, with a minimum of two potent strikers to worry about, the defence will is likely to be far busier than the attack will in this game. Joe Walsh is an injury doubt, so George Williams will likely shuffle across into centre-back, allowing Callum Brittain to play as the wing-back.
Stevenage may try and exploit the space where Williams will operate as he has played there far less this season than previous campaigns, but he accomplished in every position across the defensive line and should have no problems. Expect the hosts to give him a tough afternoon, though.
This could be one of the tougher games that the Dons will face this season and a win is by no means a certainty here, as much as it may be a necessity.
The visitors’ record against Stevenage also doesn’t point to an easy win, so a draw looks to be the likely outcome from this one.
Prediction: Stevenage 2-2 MK Dons