HEAD-TO-HEAD: Dons out to avenge last season's defeat

MK Dons beat Rochdale last time out
MK Dons beat Rochdale last time out

MK Dons could have defender Ethan Ebanks-Landell for their match against AFC Wimbledon this Friday.

The defender has been out of action since limping out of the 1-1 draw with Oxford United three weeks ago with a foot injury. But after some light training this week, manager Robbie Neilson hopes to have the 24-year-old back in his squad for the trip to Kingston.

But he will be without Joe Walsh, whose knee injury is improving but is likely to be out for another two weeks.

Last season's trip to the Cherry Red Records Stadium was arguably the most disappointing result of the season as Dons went down 2-0 in a dank performance which saw the home side take the spoils in the first meeting between the sides in the capital.

Given the tumultuous history between the clubs, Neilson has made all of his players know the significance of the game, not just in terms of the league, but for the fans too.

He said: "We spoke about this game right after the Rochdale game - while it was a good result, the biggest thing for the club and for our fans is Friday night.

"The players understand that, but we have to make sure we're up for the game and we win our battles."

Matches between the two are hardly new nowadays - Friday's clash will be the sixth time they've locked horns since December 2012, but it will be only the second time in London. Since that inaugural meeting, Dons have triumphed three times, most recently last December in Robbie Neilson's first league game in charge which was settled by a Dean Bowditch penalty in the second half. Of the six meetings, Dons have triumphed in three of them.

Neither side have set the world alight this season. Dons come into the game on the back of two wins in their last three to climb to 13th in the table, while Neil Ardley's squad sit 16th without a win at home since August 26 but come in off the back of a surprising 1-0 win over Blackburn at Ewood Park last time out.