MK Dons (A) Match Preview

We’ve lost track of the count of away games but here comes another one. This time back in the league and a trip to the impressive though sparsely full Stadium MK. A big away following will back the U’s with 1500 tickets sold at the time of writing – a fully sold out initial allocation.

It’s a return to league action after two cup games and with that, a likely return to some of the senior players missing from the last two games. Jones is expected to be fit to start but who will partner him? Both Okedina and Masterson have found some form recently, the latter appearing to have benefited from a break and clocked his first goal for United away at Northampton. That good form came a little unstuck at Northampton with two soft goals conceded after a failure to deal with long passes. 

Bonner will also need to decide whether to continue with youth in midfield or recall Wes. Perhaps a combative midfield 3 may have more success for United in a game we won’t have the majority of possession in.

Takeaways from Bonner’s presser

Gary Waddock took press duties this week.

Lloyd Jones (groin) and Shilow Tracey (hip) are injury doubts.

Jack Lankester could return to the squad. 

O’Neil and Taylor are progressing well with injuries but remain some time away. Both have been playing a part around the squad during match days. 

Expected line-up

Mitov, Williams, Okedina, Masterton, Iredale, Digby, May, Weir, Brophy, Smith, Ironside

Opposition preview

MK Dons find themselves just outside the play-off spots, a good start to the season and a decent turnaround given this time last year the club were hovering above the relegation zone. The team play a passing with purpose style and will look to dominate possession. Their team has been impacted recently with changes due to injuries and a COVID outbreak, most of whom are expected to be back to play against us. 

We spoke with the MK1 podcast in the most recent episode of UTAS which you can listen to here or wherever you get your pods.

Who is their player to watch?

Scott Twine and Mo Eisa are the obvious candidates, however, Max Watters has started to find some goal scoring form as well.

Who’s in the dug out?

Liam Manning became Head Coach just a week into the new season after Russell Martin left to take over at Swansea. The change hasn’t halted MK as Manning’s appointment appears to suit the style Martin had started.

What’s their recent form like?

A good performance against Crewe last time out plus some impressive wins over Wycombe and Wigan. However recent defeats to Doncaster and Shrewsbury suggest they can struggle against teams operating a low block.

Last 5 league results: W, L, W, L, L

Any Ex-United players?

One of our own Harry Darling has become a rock in their back 3.

Hiram Boateng has benefitted from the change of manager and has returned to the first team picture, however, he hasn’t yet forced his way to be a starter. Might as well come back to the Abbey, Hiram… 

Album for the journey 

IDLES – Crawler

Bristol punk outfit IDLES have become darlings of UK music based on the success of their past two albums. Joy As An Act of Resistance was the break-out and Ultra Mono secured the band their first number 1 album. Ultra Mono wasn’t universally loved by critics and it feels like Crawler looks to take the band in a new direction. Introspective, visceral and complex. 

The UTAS team’s terrible Moosenet predictions

Jordan: 1-1, Ironside

Julian: 1-1, Jones

Tom: 1-0 United, Ironside

Swindle: 2-0 United, Tracey

Owen: 1-0 United, Wes

Last time out

A day to forget, a hungover U’s take a New Year’s Day pasting. 6-0 including being 3-0 down inside 12 minutes.

From the archive

Couldn’t find anything good from the archive against MK Dons – mainly because their archive doesn’t stretch that far for obvious reasons. However, I fondly remember how Luke Chadwick left MK Dons to join us. Here is his first goal for us, in front of the NRE no less.

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