No surprises that Dons and Mansfield would battle it out

Jordan Houghton said he faces a talented Mansfield midfielder back in November
Jordan Houghton said he faces a talented Mansfield midfielder back in November

The signs were all there when MK Dons and Mansfield drew 1-1 in October that both sides would be battling it out for automatic promotion.

Jordan Houghton scored a wonder-strike to cancel out Jacob Mellis' equally spectacular opener in a close encounter at the One Call Stadium.

The 23-year-old said the draw in Nottinghamshire hinted at what was to come.

"It's no coincidence we're both up there. That game was a really high-level game, against a couple of good lads in midfield. Both teams had chances, passages of play, possession. It was a proper game.

"I expect it to be the same on Saturday. There might be a few more nerves, mistakes, it'll be a bit more cagey, but we have to play our football and we'll get the outcome we want."

Houghton admitted he has been reminded of his goal in that game - a fierce strike from 25 yards - a few times in the build-up to Saturday's clash, and said he feels he should have chipped in with a few more goals this season.

He added: "A few people have reminded me – I should have saved it for Saturday! It gives me confidence that I've put one past the keeper, I hope for another like that!"

"If you look at the season, it's an area we may have struggled with. The lads up top have been banging them in, but we need to chip in a bit more. I've scored two goals and I'd have liked more, and I'm sure others think the same."