MX23RW : Saturday, October 20 20:04:22
Oct 17, 2015 at 3pm UK at ​Stadium MK
MK Dons
3-0
BlackburnBlackburn Rovers
Reeves (11' pen., 89'), Church (71')
Poyet (25'), Hall (40')
FT(HT: 1-0)

Akpan (39'), Marshall (93')
Henley (10')

Preview: MK Dons vs. Blackburn Rovers

Sports Mole previews the Championship clash between MK Dons and Blackburn Rovers.

MK Dons will go in search of only their second home win of the season when they take on Blackburn Rovers.

However, Gary Bowyer's men are hoping to pick their third victory in four games as they try to move further away from the Championship relegation battle.


MK Dons

MK Dons manager Karl Robinson looks on during the Pre-Season Friendly match between MK Dons and Tottenham Hotspur XI at Stadium mk on July 31, 2013© Getty Images

A few weeks ago, Dons manager Karl Robinson admitted that he was "embarrassed" by the manner of their 6-0 League Cup defeat at the hands of Southampton last month, but it remains to be seen whether it has marked a change in fortunes.

The newly-promoted side followed that up with a battling defeat at the hands of Derby County before fighting back to earn a draw against fellow strugglers Bristol City before the international break.

Nevertheless, Milton Keynes have found the transition to Championship level far harder, having netted only nine times, with only Preston North End scoring fewer. The Dons scored 101 goals in League One last season.

That could be because the Buckinghamshire outfit have registered the fewest shots on target so far this term, but their defence has at least conceded fewer than many of their rivals in the relegation battle, letting in 14 to Bristol City's 20.

However, MK remain a side out of form and the draw against the Robins stopped a run of six consecutive defeats in all competitions.

Robinson will hope that the presence of Brighton & Hove Albion loanee Jake Forster-Caskey, who has started the club's last two league fixtures, can help propel his team up the table after a difficult start.

Recent form: LLLLLD
Recent form (all competitions): LLLLLD


Blackburn Rovers

Jordan Rhodes of Blackburn Rovers celebrates his goal during the Sky Bet Championship match between Blackburn Rovers and Burnley at Ewood Park on March 9, 2014© Getty Images

While the Dons have lost six of their last seven, Rovers boss Gary Bowyer is still refusing to take Saturday's opposition lightly.

However, Bowyer does arguably boast the in-form striker in England's second tier - Scotland international Jordan Rhodes.

The former Huddersfield Town frontman was named Championship Player of the Month for September, netting five times in four games.

While Rhodes is joint top scorer in the division, however, Rovers have become increasingly reliant on his goals, which have accounted for seven of Blackburn's last nine in the league.

Rovers have at least specialised in finding the back of the net from set pieces recently, with only five of their 12 goals coming from open play.

However, Bowyer will also hope that his team can end their eight-match winless run on the road, albeit that Rovers have only lost two in that time.

Recent form: DLDWDW


Team News

Ben Davies of Sheffield United looks to the ball with Samir Carruthers of MK Dons during the Capital One Cup Fourth Round match on October 28, 2014© Getty Images

MK Dons will still be without ex-Liverpool midfielder Darren Potter and former Arsenal man Mark Randall in the centre of the pitch, while keeper Cody Cropper also remains sidelined.

However, the Championship new boys will have Samir Carruthers available for selection after he completed a three-match ban following his sending-off against Leeds United.

Meanwhile, Jason Lowe (foot), Fode Koita (hamstring), Chris Brown (knee) and Danny Guthrie (thigh) will all miss out for Rovers.

Blackburn should at least have Rhodes available for the trip to stadium:mk after suffering a medial ligament injury while on international duty with Scotland, with Lee Williamson also expected to shake off a knock picked up after playing for Jamaica last weekend.

MK Dons possible starting lineup:
Martin; Spence, McFadzean, Kay, Lewington; Carruthers, Forster-Caskey; Baker, Reeves, Murphy; Church

Blackburn Rovers possible starting lineup:
Steele; Henley, Duffy, Hanley, Olsson; Marshall, Evans, Akpan, Conway; Lawrence, Rhodes


Head To Head

This game will be the first time that MK Dons and Blackburn have met in a league fixture.

However, they played once in a League Cup clash in August 2012, with a Luke Chadwick brace helping the Dons to a 2-1 win.


Sports Mole Logo

We say: MK Dons 0-1 Blackburn

The Dons' struggles in front of goal is an issue that Robinson's side will hope to address in their forthcoming games, but will they be able to stop Rhodes and keep out Rovers at the set-piece? Recent form would appear to suggest not.


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Who will win the Championship clash between MK Dons and Blackburn Rovers?

MK Dons
Blackburn Rovers
Draw
MK Dons
35.8%
Blackburn Rovers
50.7%
Draw
13.4%
Gary Bowyer the manager of Blackburn Rovers looks on prior to the Sky Bet Championship match between Blackburn Rovers and Bolton Wanderers at Ewood park on August 28, 2015
Read Next:
Gary Bowyer: 'Blackburn won't underestimate Dons'
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Tables
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1Lincoln City14102228111732
2Exeter CityExeter1484224121228
3MK Dons14761178927
4Newport CountyNewport148332124-327
5Colchester UnitedColchester1474329151425
6Tranmere RoversTranmere146621712524
7Bury146442315822
8Crawley TownCrawley147162219322
9Forest Green RoversForest Green144912013721
10Stevenage146351614221
11Carlisle UnitedCarlisle146171417-319
12Swindon TownSwindon144641718-118
13Mansfield TownMansfield12381169717
14Yeovil TownYeovil134542015517
15Oldham AthleticOldham134541613317
16Port Vale145271419-517
17Crewe AlexandraCrewe134361313015
18Morecambe144191426-1213
19Northampton TownNorthampton142661120-912
20Grimsby Town13337918-912
21Notts County133371630-1412
22Cheltenham TownCheltenham132471019-910
23Cambridge UnitedCambridge142391227-159
24Macclesfield TownMacclesfield141491325-127

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