HEAD-TO-HEAD: Dons hope for a better Rovers return this time

Jordi Gomez scored a stoppage time free kick at Ewood Park in 2016
Jordi Gomez scored a stoppage time free kick at Ewood Park in 2016

Jordi Gomez’s sensational stoppage time free kick all but marked MK Dons’ card for relegation the last, and only time they went to Ewood Park.

With Karl Robinson’s ailing side flirting dangerously with the Championship drop zone back in February 2016, an Alex Revell brace appeared to be enough to snatch a point from the former Premier League champions.

But Gomez’s wonderful strike three minutes into time added on gave Rovers all three points with a 3-2 victory and left Dons to ponder what might have been.

Now, both sides are in League 1, with Rovers having suffered relegation last season, and both are at the wrong end of the table after shaky starts.

Dons lost their opening two matches but picked up their first points of the League 1 campaign on Saturday with a 1-0 win over Gillingham, as did Tony Mowbray’s side, beating Bradford City by the same scoreline.

Like Dons, Rovers were knocked out of the Carabao Cup this week, going down 2-0 to arch-rivals Burnley - a game Dons manager Robbie Neilson attended to get a first hand look at this Saturday's opponents.

Jordi Gomez

Jordi Gomez

"We went up to watch the game and it was good to see - they made a few changes to their striking department, and then towards the end brought most of them on. They're a strong team, very experienced with a good squad.

"We know it'll be tough, but it's a good environment to play, with a good pitch, good stadium - we're looking forward to going up there.

"Tony is a good guy, and he's worked with Neil MacFarlane. We know what to expect - Tony plays a certain brand of football, it's very entertaining and I'm sure they'll try to do that on Saturday."