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Town Visit MK Dons Looking For Third Away Win
Tuesday, 17th Sep 2019 06:00

Second-placed Town travel to the MK Dons tonight looking for their third away win of the campaign as well as a return to the top of the division.

The still-unbeaten Blues, who won 5-0 at Bolton on their last trip and defeated Burton 1-0 on the opening day, are a point behind leaders Coventry following the weekend fixtures but with a game in hand. The Sky Blues host AFC Wimbledon at St Andrew’s this evening.

The fixture at Stadium MK is the second of three matches in eight days, following the weekend 0-0 home draw with Doncaster, and manager Paul Lambert is expected to make changes.

Asked whether he planned to shuffle his pack for the visit to Buckinghamshire after Saturday’s game, Lambert said he would assess those involved against the South Yorkshiremen before making a decision.

“I’ll pick a team which I think can go and win,” he said. “We’ll have to wait and see. We go there to try and win, we’ll have a massive support. I’ll see how they are on Sunday and Monday and then decide what team I’ll play.”

Among those back in the squad after injury absences are midfielder Jon Nolan and striker Will Keane.

Lambert says Keane is still a little way off being fully fit, having featured for the final 11 minutes on Saturday, while he believes Nolan is nearer to being ready for a start.

“Will more so than Nolo, Nolo now I think is just about there,” he said. “Toto [Nsiala]’s doing OK, he’ll play [in the U23s] on Monday.

“They’re starting to come back, they’re not too far apart. Longevity-wise, Will I think has been the one who has been most frustrated with injury.”

He added: “Nolan’s come on from the bench a few times, the lad can play, he’s got a goal in him, which is great, and Will’s a natural goalscorer. You’ve just got to give them time but they’re getting there.”

Striker James Norwood had a frustrating afternoon against Doncaster with the visitors’ keeper Ian Lawlor having come out on top in two one on ones.

“The good thing about Norwood and [Kayden] Jackson is that they’re getting the chances and they’ve been putting them away,” Lambert said of his frontmen, who have netted five and four respectively this season already.

“On Saturday, Norwood’s had a couple of chances and on another day they’ll fly in. I’ve got no problem about Norwood or Jackson scoring.”

Despite dropping two points against Doncaster, Lambert was pleased with the clean sheet, Town’s third in a row in League One, and says he's a firm believer that success is built on a solid backline: “I was fortunate to play with some world class teams and defending’s the cornerstone of everything you’re trying to achieve.

“If you’re strong defensively then you’ve certainly got a chance up the other end. Defensively, the clean sheet is very good.”

The MK Dons sit in 10th in the table, only three points behind the Blues, having recorded a noteworthy 3-0 win away against early pace-setters Blackpool on Saturday.

“It’s hard, every team is hard but we go there with confidence and we go there to try and win,” the Blues boss continued.

“I don’t worry about anything else other than what we do, we’re the main focus and if we can go and do what we do, then hopefully we’ll come away with a win.”

Tomas Holy will continue in goal after his impressive performance against Doncaster.

Lambert may well look to continue his rotation policy at the centre of the defence, swapping one of skipper Luke Chambers or Luke Woolfenden for James Wilson. Nsiala isn’t yet ready for a return and was in the U23s at Burnley yesterday.

Kane Vincent-Young is likely to be at right-back - with Janoi Donacien the alternative if Lambert decides to rotate - while Myles Kenlock will probably again be on the left, although Luke Garbutt was back in training at the end of last week and is another possibility.

In midfield, Lambert may decide to switch to a three central midfielders with Cole Skuse, who will be making his 250th appearance for the Blues, and Flynn Downes - or maybe Nolan - perhaps behind Alan Judge with Gwion Edwards on the right - although Danny Rowe is an option if he’s over the ear infection which saw him miss Saturday’s match - and Anthony Georgiou - who would be making his full debut - on the left.

Norwood would probably be the lone out and out striker with Jackson rested.

Keane will be among the subs, with Emyr Huws, who missed the Doncaster game having been ill earlier last week, probably joining him on the bench.

The MK Dons, who utilise a 3-5-2 system, have won their last three games. At home have run out victors on three occasions this season and have lost once, a 4-0 thrashing by Peterborough.

The home side are expected with be without forward Rhys Healey due to a thigh problem sustained in the pre-match warm-up at the weekend, while defenders Baily Cargill and Jordan Moore-Taylor, striker Joe Mason and midfielder Ben Reeves all remain sidelined. Former U's midfielder Alex Gilbey also missed Saturday's match .

The Blues, who will be backed by around 3,000 fans this evening, and the Dons have only ever met three times, twice in the league and once in the Carling Cup.

The last meeting between the teams was their first at Portman Road with Town ending their 2015/16 home campaign with a 3-2 victory.

David McGoldrick put the Blues in front on 16 but conceded a penalty just before the break from which Alex Revell equalised.

Brett Pitman put Town back in front on 68, Revell equalised again six minutes later before Luke Varney won it in the final minute.

In December 2015, in the first ever league game between the sides, Town claimed their third successive win on the road as Pitman’s 10th-minute goal saw the Blues to a 1-0 victory at Stadium MK.

Town ought to have won the game by a greater margin with the Blues failing to take a number of good chances.

The only other game between the teams came in the first round of the Carling Cup at Stadium MK back in August 2007 when the Blues were beaten 5-3 in a penalty shoot-out following a 3-3 draw after extra-time.

Leon Knight put the home side ahead on 16 then four minutes later Alex Bruce netted an own goal to make it 2-0.

Alan Lee pulled one back from the penalty spot just prior to half-time before a Kieron Murphy own goal levelled the scores seven minutes after the restart.

Owen Garvan gave the Blues the lead eight minutes into extra-time, but Kevin Gallen netted from the spot after the Dons were controversially awarded a penalty in the final minute.

In the shoot-out Lloyd Dyer, Mark Wright, Gallen, Jude Sterling and Sean O'Hanlon all scored for the home side, while Billy Clarke, Jon Walters and Jason De Vos were successful for the Blues.

However, Dan Harding’s fourth for Town was stopped by one-time Blues reserves keeper Nathan Abbey, sealing the victory for the home team.

Tonight’s referee is Lee Swabey from Devon, who has shown 17 yellow cards and no red in seven games so far this season. Swabey will be refereeing his first Town match.

Squad from: Holy, Norris, Vincent-Young, Donacien, Kenlock, Chambers (c), Wilson, Woolfenden, Skuse, Downes, Dozzell, Huws, Nolan, Judge, Edwards, Garbutt, Rowe, Georgiou, Jackson, Norwood, Keane.

Photo: TWTD

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Saxonblue74 added 06:54 - Sep 17
Could be our toughest lge1 test so far, will need to be on top form to get 3 points from this.

MoscowBlueMule added 07:23 - Sep 17
What happened with the TWTV press conferences? Or have i just missed the last two?

MrJase_79 added 07:26 - Sep 17
Was wondering the same thing, whats happened to the pressers?

PhilTWTD added 10:10 - Sep 17
They've not been doing manager's press conferences for the midweek games, the quotes are from after Saturday's match. Ahead of the Doncaster game they did all press at Britannia Primary School for the Community Trust launch but I'm assuming all back to normal on Friday, although I know the plans for Tranmere are different again.

MoscowBlueMule added 10:20 - Sep 17
Cheers Phil for the update.

muccletonjoe added 10:26 - Sep 17
We will lose tonight playing 4321

TheHound added 10:52 - Sep 17

SamWhiteUK added 12:11 - Sep 17
We also played there in pre-season last year - doesn't that count?

nathitfc89 added 13:08 - Sep 17
lets hope for a better performance tonight then what was on offer Saturday, and lets also hope a certain Mr Norwood can be more clinical in front of goal. COYB

1psw1ch added 13:19 - Sep 17
be great to win this ,,,it will show the team is in a good place,,,be a tough game alright but we are ipswich town

dirtydingusmagee added 13:44 - Sep 17
a test tonight for sure, will need to up our game,Saturday was worryingly like some of last seasons performances. Come on Town , EVERY GAME COUNTS .

Nobbysnuts added 15:07 - Sep 17
After Saturday's performance I'm seriously worried the unbeaten record could go tonite. We have to be more clinical in front of goal tonite as chances could be at a premium.

ringwoodblue added 15:56 - Sep 17
I’ve predicted the last 4 results correctly but I’m hoping I’m wrong in my prediction of a first Town defeat tonight. Hope Georgiou starts tonight and Judge is rested (dropped)

Roola added 16:26 - Sep 17
Must win game tonight to refind our momentum otherwise I worry we may start to falter.

strikalite added 16:31 - Sep 17
Need to be mentally up for it from the start, unlike Saturday, that was a worrying first half display, on a fantastic pitch like ours there isn't really an excuse to keep giving the ball away so cheaply....


afrodids added 16:38 - Sep 17
Thinking it might be our first loss tonight just being honest MK are bang in form, tough place to go. I hope I'm wrong and we smash them. COYB.

stewartm added 17:05 - Sep 17
Another poor team selection and formation will result in defeat tonight! I seriously hope PL don't start suffering the same as MM did (puzzling every one with his player selections let alone formations).

ITFCsince73 added 17:53 - Sep 17
If we are a serious top 2 challenger then a win is a must.
Mk wont be anywhere near top 2, midtable at best.
We will have many more harder tests than tonight.
3 points please.

ITFCsince73 added 18:01 - Sep 17
Not sure MK are bang in form?
Lost 3 in the league already....ripped apart by Posh at home.
Lost to A Stanley.
Should be a nailed on Town win.

DifferentGravy added 18:01 - Sep 17
They had a cracking win at the w/e and (with the exception of Posh) have mixed it with some of the better teams in the league.

Personally, id like to see V-Young, Woolfie, a-n-other(jury out on Chambers), Garbutt - Scuse, Downes, Rowe(or Dobra), Georgiou - Norwood, Jackson.

3 from - Dobra, Keane, Wilson, Nolan and Judgey on the bench to change it up if things dont go according to plan.

Would really like to see Andre Dozzell take a step forward. His father was a phenomenal player for Town, skill to beat players, give and go, setting up chances, goalscoring. Andre has a fantastic eye for a pass but he just isnt showing enough of a threat as an offensive midfielder....and hes certainly not a defensive midfielder.

DifferentGravy added 18:05 - Sep 17
Like your confidence ITFCsince73, wish i felt the same. Hoping for an improved performance by town, taking their midfield on, creating chances and banging a couple of those chances in! Come on Ipswich!

ITFCsince73 added 18:34 - Sep 17
Differentgravy...my confidence comes from the fact we are aiming for a top 2 finish.
As said MK have had some poor defeats, and the wins against some of the top 6 teams, wycombe, Blackpool, Lincoln wont be top 6 come Xmas.
A win for Town tonight will start to create a gap, overall we have started superbly, now need to kick that on.
Not sure how anyone would think this is not a 3 point win, with the players at our disposal anyway.

ITFCsince73 added 19:10 - Sep 17
Our best defender by a country mile, sits this one out???

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