HEAD-TO-HEAD: Dons and Portsmouth prove inseparable ahead of Fratton Park meeting

League 1 football has returned to Fratton Park this season.
Pic: Joe Pepler
League 1 football has returned to Fratton Park this season. Pic: Joe Pepler

There’s almost nothing to tell between the two sides when MK Dons travel to Fratton Park to take on Portsmouth this Saturday.

Kenny Jackett’s side have adapted to life in League 1 well, and sit 13th in the table after the opening 12 games.

Former Dons loanee Matty Kennedy now lines up for Pompey.
Pic: Joe Pepler

Former Dons loanee Matty Kennedy now lines up for Pompey. Pic: Joe Pepler

With five wins, two draws and five defeats, they have exactly the same record as Dons this season, with only goal difference separating the sides so far.

"It'll be a good game," said Dons boss Robbie Neilson. "They'll have a great crowd there, on a great surface against a great team. Hopefully it'll be an enjoyable game.

"I know Kenny a little bit, I've not spoken to him for a long time. He has great experience, and has managed a lot of teams at a good level.

"He's trying to put together a team to get out of this league, but they're a little bit like us - they've been quite stop-start with injuries and issues but I'm sure they'll get there eventually."

Such is the parity between the sides, the only two meetings they have had in the past have been draws.

When Portsmouth were in League 1 in 2012/13, the sides shared a 2-2 draw at Stadium MK, including a goal from then Pompey forward Izale McLeod before he switched sides for the reverse fixture - a 1-1 draw at Fratton Park.

Dons’ defeat on Saturday was their first in five matches, while Portsmouth have a win-lose-win record extending back to September in League 1 and picked up three points against Gillingham last time out.

Callum Brittain and Ouss Cisse have returned from international duty and will be available for selection again, as will Scott Golbourne after injury ruled him out of the last two games. Peter Pawlett though remains on the sidelines.

Speaking on Thursday, Neilson added: "Golbourne trained with us yesterday, and he'll do a full session today, so we've almost got a whole squad. He has real quality, the players have really taken to him, he has experience too.

"Peter Pawlett has been stepping up his rehab as well so he should be just a week away."