MK Dons have been on a resurgence in recent weeks, emphatically bouncing back from a run of two wins in ten matches to now be on a streak of four consecutive successes. In that time, there have been plenty of formation and personnel changes to contend with as Paul Tisdale navigates injuries and players’ form going into individual games. However, the Dons have coped excellently with the frequent changes and seem solid no matter how they line-up going into a game.
The same can’t be said of Macclesfield Town, though, who are the Dons’ opponents this weekend. The Silkmen experienced something of a renaissance under Sol Campbell when he joined in November, but their form has taken another dip, seeing them drop back into the League Two relegation zone. Two months ago, this game would be one that Tisdale’s side will probably have slipped up on, but now, it feels like the perfect time to be playing Campbell’s outfit.
MK Dons Facing Macclesfield Town at the Right Time
Many started to believe that the honeymoon phase for Paul Tisdale had come to an end by the time they had lost at home to Swindon Town. The home defeat, against a side they have a largely positive record against, was their seventh in an appalling ten-game spell where they picked up just seven points from a possible 30. Prior to that spell, which started with the home loss to Colchester United, they had lost only twice all season.
However, a 1-0 win away at Newport County in their rearranged fixture, courtesy of a late winner from Chuks Aneke, has been the catalyst for some huge improvements in individual performances. The poor run also inspired Tisdale to drop some of the underperforming players, with the main two being the introduction of Stuart Moore in goal in place of Lee Nicholls and the restoration of Ousseynou Cisse in midfield for Jordan Houghton.
Since that game against the Exiles, the Dons have looked much harder to beat, battling their way through the fringes of a defensive injury crisis and coping well with formation changes based on the players available. The standout win was the 3-2 success away at promotion rivals Carlisle United, while another win over Newport and a narrow success against Crawley Town followed.
Tisdale’s side seem to have their mojo back and are showing the sort of form that saw them storm to the top of the league along with Lincoln City in the early stages of the season. A win this Saturday against Campbell’s Macclesfield would reaffirm the assumption that the Dons are back to their best.
Back to the Slump
Sol Campbell watched on from the stands as Macclesfield Town produced a stunning win at play-off chasing Exeter City on the day he was announced as manager. Although they couldn’t follow that up in his first official game in charge as they lost at Colchester, the early part of Campbell’s spell was mostly positive.
They went on to record a run of just two losses in eight games after that match against the U’s, which included a win away at Notts County, who are the other main relegation candidate, and successes over Grimsby Town and Oldham Athletic.
From January 26th onwards, though, they are yet to record a win and have picked up only three points from a possible 18. Draws against Crewe Alexandra, Colchester and Crawley suggest they aren’t the easiest side to beat, but after conceding three goals against both Bury and Mansfield in this poor run, it’s more than likely that MK Dons, who are only one and two places behind those two sides respectively, can have a similar level of success.
If form isn’t enough to go on, then history is also on the Dons’ side. Macclesfield have never beaten MK Dons in six attempts – five in the league and one in the FA Cup. A 3-3 draw at Moss Rose in 2007 and a 1-1 draw at Stadium MK later in the campaign, one in which the Dons won promotion from League Two, are the only positive signs going into this game in terms of history for Macclesfield.
With the form book also firmly against them, this is the perfect time for MK Dons to turn the screw further and improve their promotion credentials.
Prediction: Macclesfield Town 0-2 MK Dons