MK Dons Host Grimsby in First Meeting For Ten Years

MILTON KEYNES, ENGLAND - AUGUST 14: A general view of Stadium MK prior to the Carabao Cup First Round match between Milton Keynes Dons and Charlton Athletic at Stadium MK on August 14, 2018 in Milton Keynes, England. (Photo by Marc Atkins/Getty Images)

MK Dons host Grimsby in League Two on Tuesday night as the two sides meet each other for the first time in ten years. The last meeting between the two came in March 2008 at Wembley, when the Dons were victorious over their league rivals in the final of the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy (now the Checkatrade Trophy).

MK Dons Host Grimsby at Stadium MK

Looking For Revenge

There have been very few meetings between these two sides, only five to be exact. The Dons have come out on top in four of them, losing their home game in the 2006/07 League Two season.

The biggest game between the two, though, came in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy final in 2008, when the Dons won their first piece of silverware under their new name. A Keith Andrews penalty and Sean O’Hanlon’s bullet header, both in the second half, sealed the win for the Dons, who also had goalkeeper Willy Gueret to thank for a first-half penalty save.

The Mariners were second best on the day and only had Phil Barnes in their goal to thank for the score not being higher. Barnes pulled off a number of stunning saves throughout the game.

Town will be seeking a level of revenge when they visit Stadium MK as they look for just their second win over the Dons.

Key Men

MK Dons

The Dons have had a number of standout performers so far this season. Ousseynou Cisse has had a complete transformation under Paul Tisdale, Ryan Watson and Jordan Houghton look to have formed a solid midfield pairing and youngster Dylan Asonganyi looks as though he could fully break through this season.

However, centre-back Jordan Moore-Taylor, who followed Tisdale from Exeter in the summer, has been an absolute rock in a defence that has conceded just once so far this season. The 24-year-old has made a number of vital recovery blocks when the defence has been breached and it’s easy to see why Tisdale was so keen to bring him to Milton Keynes.

The Grimsby attack is going to have a hard time if Moore-Taylor keeps up his early season form. Another clean sheet for him and the Dons defence looks to be on the cards.

Grimsby

Grimsby’s biggest asset is midfielder and captain John Welsh. Grimsby snapped him up this summer after his contract with Championship side Preston North End expired, so he brings a wealth of higher-division experience with him.

Welsh also made ten appearances for Liverpool in the early stages of his career, including minutes in Liverpool’s famous 2005 Champions League campaign. To have such experience playing in League Two can only be a major benefit to the Mariners.

Prediction

The Dons’ 0-0 draw with Crewe at the weekend showed that they still lack some firepower up front. Osman Sow is slowly returning to full fitness but this game may still come too soon for him, while Chuks Aneke’s talks about a loan move have stalled in the last week. Whether this means Aneke is in the right place to be able to return to the team is yet to be seen.

As such, Ousseynou Cisse may continue in his role as an advanced forward, with either Kieran Agard, Dylan Asonganyi or Robbie Muirhead to partner him.

The defence, though, is solid and it could be some time before they concede again. Expect this to be another clean sheet for Moore-Taylor and co. at the back, with a solitary goal at the other end to win it.

Prediction: MK Dons 1-0 Grimsby

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