HEAD-TO-HEAD: Points essential at both ends of the table when Dons take on Rovers

Chuks Aneke celebrates his goal at Gillingham
Chuks Aneke celebrates his goal at Gillingham

In-form front man Chuks Aneke says both MK Dons and Blackburn Rovers have a lot riding on their encounter on Easter Monday.

Aneke scored the opener against Gillingham on Thursday night as Dons picked up their third win in four to climb out of the League 1 relegation zone for the first time since January 20.

Rovers also played on Thursday night, and their win over Bradford put them top of the league, albeit temporarily before Wigan's win over Oldham saw them return to the summit.

And with both sides needing the points, Aneke says the game at Stadium MK on Monday should be a thriller.

"They need the points, but we do too so it will be a well-contested game," he said. "There's a lot to gain for both sides to come out of it victorious.

"We need the points now, it's coming to the end of the season. No-one is getting carried away with this run, but we're in a good place, we feel like we can go out and put on the performances we need to to stay away out of the relegation zone.

Dan Micciche

Dan Micciche

"We were in the relegation for a little while now , so looking at it at the moment gives us a bit of a confidence boost. But we know we've got some way to go, a lot of hard work, we've got seven games left but if the table reads like this at the end of the season, we'll be happy with that."

The 24-year-old has played a part in five of Dons last month, and added: "I'm happy with how I'm playing, I feel good, I hope I can get another goal and assist on Monday."

Dons will be without defender Elliott Ward for the game - missing out due to the terms of his loan deal from Blackburn - while Osman Sow will also miss out. Scott Golbourne returned to the bench on Thursday after three months out, while Callum Brittain got 40 minutes after returning from international duty.

Rovers head to Stadium MK with four wins in their last five, just a point behind leaders Wigan. Rovers though have lost on both previous visits to Milton Keynes, and while his side have hit their best run of form this season, Dons boss Dan Micciche is under no illusions how tough the game against Blackburn will be.

He said: "They're an excellent side, they're not up there by chance - the table doesn't lie. Looking at their squad, there's quality everywhere, and they've got a fantastic manager.

"But the league is so unpredictable and every team is beatable. We know it will be a tough game but we expect to put on a performance for the home fans."