After beginning this season with aspirations of automatic promotion let alone the play offs, MK Dons have disappointed and found themselves in and around mid-table all season long despite an impressive run to the fifth round of the FA Cup.
However, Karl Robinson’s men have put together a bit of form of late and have taken four wins from their last six, including four clean sheets on the bounce, to leave them four points off the play-offs with four games to play.
Last time out
In a game the Dons simply had to win if they were to keep alive their faint hopes of the play offs, Robinson’s men comfortably saw off sixth-placed Swindon and closed the gap on them to just four points in the process with both on 42 games played.
After a scrappy first-half that saw the Robins have a goal disallowed by the assistant despite the referee seeming to deem it legal, the hosts took control in the second period, scoring twice through defender Mathias Doumbe and then late on through veteran striker Ryan Lowe with his 11th goal of the season.
The Dons have a few injury problems with goalkeeper David Martin fighting for availability after six weeks out with a back injury. The versatile Anthony Kay may also start after returning from suspension against Swindon in the week while the likes of Izale McLeod, Daniel Powell and captain Dean Lewington could all make appearances after recent spells on the sidelines. Stephen Gleeson may be rested after only recently making his comeback from a broken foot.
Last time we met
Back in early November at Stadium:MK, the O’s suffered their fourth consecutive defeat without scoring to leave them just two points outside the relegation zone. In a game that the home side dominated at times, the hosts’ the only goal came four minutes before the break when Ryan Lowe slotted home a Dean Bowditch cross after Orient keeper Ryan Allsopp had already denied the hosts at least a couple of goals.
One to watch
Stephen Gleeson has struggled this season with injury problems but when fit brings a touch of class to the Dons’ midfield with his progressive, creative passing. Has also shown an eye for goal this season and broke the deadlock in his side’s FA Cup grudge match with AFC Wimbledon with a wonderful long-range effort.
Orient wins: 2
MK Dons wins: 7