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Kick off 12:30 (UK)

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17 April 2021 Venue Stadium mk Attendance

Kick off 12:30 (UK)

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English Football League - League One

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Match Previews

Match Preview: MK Dons v Pompey

All you need to know about League One test

16 April 2021

MK Dons v Pompey

With Pompey sat just inside the play-off places and a mere six games remaining, there is plenty to play for.

Danny Cowley’s men will be hoping to get enough points on the board to extend their campaign by at least two more matches.

Meanwhile, it is almost certain that their opponents on Saturday (12.30pm kick-off) will be playing League One football again next term.

MK Dons are safe from the drop in 14th spot and, barring an unlikely set of results, not going to climb into the top six.

But that represents progress for the men from Buckinghamshire, who were in the drop zone when Russell Martin replaced Paul Tisdale as manager a few months into last season.

Like the Blues, they recently enjoyed a four-match winning run, but have collected a solitary point from the past three games.

They were most recently in action on Tuesday evening, suffering a 4-0 defeat at promotion-chasing Lincoln.

Pompey were beaten 3-1 at Stadium MK last term, but goals from Tom Naylor and Ellis Harrison secured a 2-1 triumph when the sides met at Fratton Park back in October.

TEAM NEWS
Alex Bass (foot), Lee Brown (hamstring), Ellis Harrison (knee), Jordy Hiwula (ankle) and Michael Jacobs (knee) are all still sidelined.

MK Dons defender Warren O’Hora is expected to miss the final weeks of the season with a foot injury, while Cameron Jerome and Louis Thompson are also unlikely to feature on Saturday.

VIEW FROM THE DRESSING ROOM
Read the thoughts of Danny Cowley and Andy Cannon ahead of the game.

HEAD TO HEAD
Overall
Pompey: 4 wins
MK Dons: 1 win
2 draws

At Stadium MK
Pompey: 1 win
MK Dons: 1 win
1 draw

OFFICIALS
Referee: Martin Coy
Assistants: Nicholas Cooper and Stephen Finch
Fourth Official: Scott Williams

MATCH COVERAGE
Supporters in the UK can watch the action live – with graphics, commentary and replays – by purchasing a match pass for £10.

Subscribers will, as usual, be able to listen to listen to live commentary from Andy Moon and Guy Whittingham by signing into their account and visiting the match centre from 12pm.

Please note that subscribers based in the UK and Ireland will still need to purchase a match pass in order to watch the game live.

Click here for more information about using iFollow on a matchday and click here for information on downloading the app, so you can access content on your mobile device.

We will have updates throughout the game on Twitter and the match centre. You can also see behind-the-scenes content on our Instagram story.

There will be post-match reaction on the website and our official YouTube channel, with highlights to follow on Sunday.

Local listeners can hear commentary by tuning in to either Express FM or BBC Radio Solent.

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BETTING
Pompey are the 7/5 favourites with VBET to secure all three points, while the hosts can be backed at 21/10.

Click here to find a comprehensive list of odds for Saturday’s game. 18+. Be Gamble Aware.

ALSO IN LEAGUE ONE
Games kick-off at 12.30pm unless stated

Friday
Peterborough v Northampton (7.45pm)

Saturday
Blackpool v Sunderland
Bristol Rovers v Lincoln
Burton v Plymouth
Charlton v Ipswich
Hull v Fleetwood
Rochdale v Accrington
Shrewsbury v Doncaster
Wigan v Crewe
AFC Wimbledon v Swindon (5.30pm)
Oxford v Gillingham (5.30pm)

MEMORABLE MEETING

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Match Reports

MK Dons 1 Pompey 0

Whatmough sent off as Blues suffer narrow defeat

17 April 2021

Marcus Harness in action for Pompey at MK Dons
Photo: Dennis Goodwin

Pompey’s play-off hopes received a setback as they were narrowly beaten in an entertaining contest at MK Dons.

Both sides created plenty of chances and struck the woodwork, but a Scott Fraser penalty late in the first half proved to be the only goal.

And there was further bad news for the Blues, with Jack Whatmough set for a lengthy suspension after being sent off for a late lunge.

Danny Cowley made one enforced change from the side that played out a goalless draw at Crewe earlier in the week.

Ben Close missed out with a groin injury, so Tottenham loanee Harvey White came in for his first start in just over a month.

Andy Cannon – struggling with a back problem – was only fit enough for a place on the bench, where he was joined by former Dons defender Paul Downing.

A minute’s silence was held before kick-off in memory of His Royal Highness The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh on the day of his funeral.

The game began at a fair old pace and never really relented, with both sides looking to get forward whenever possible.

It was the hosts who dominated possession in the first half, although Pompey looked particularly dangerous in the break.

Ronan Curtis was first to threaten with a shot from the edge of the box that flew straight into the arms of Andrew Fisher.

Their opponents went closer soon after, as a Matt O’Riley curler rattled the woodwork and Andrew Surman’s follow-up narrowly cleared the crossbar.

O’Riley then should have done better, glancing a close-range header wide after being picked out in the box by Fraser.

The action continued to switch from one end to the other and an acrobatic over-head kick from John Marquis was brilliantly kept out by Fisher.

And when the keeper was spotted off his line, Marquis attempted an audacious strike from the halfway line that flew not too far off target.

It seemed to be a question of when, rather than if, a goal would be scored and Ethan Laird flashed a dangerous low delivery across the Blues box that none of his team-mates could get on the end of.

Curtis then had a couple of attempts in quick succession, firing one just past the post and seeing a second gathered at the second attempt by Fisher.

But it was the home side who finally broke the deadlock on 41 minutes after Charlie Daniels was punished for a trip on Laird.

Replays showed the challenge took place just inside the box and Fraser sent Craig MacGillivray the wrong way from the spot.

That was not the end of the first half action, though, with both sides unfortunate not to score in stoppage-time.

Will Grigg’s effort was brilliantly blocked on the line by Sean Raggett, while Daniels was the man stationed there to keep out his follow-up.

Pompey immediately made their way up the other end and Curtis cut the ball back for Marquis, whose attempt was deflected over.

Half Time: MK Dons 1 Pompey 0

The action did not let up following the interval and when Grigg laid off O’Riley’s cross, Fraser’s shot rattled the crossbar.

Tom Naylor then sent a dangerous low cross to the back post, but Curtis could not quite arrive in time to poke it home.

And the resulting corner from Daniels was met by Naylor, whose header hit the bar, bounced down onto the line and was cleared.

Cowley made a double switch just before the hour mark, as Ryan Williams and White made way for Rasmus Nicolaisen and George Byers.

It saw a switch to playing three at the back, as the Blues looked to find a different route past their opponents.

The chances had started to dry up, with MK Dons seeming more than happy to protect their narrow lead.

A Daniels free-kick was nodded back by Whatmough on 70 minutes and Fisher failed to keep hold of the ball, although fortunately for the keeper it landed at the feet of one of his team-mates.

Raggett was replaced by Andy Cannon for the closing stages, as the Blues kept plugging away in search of a leveller.

But their hopes were dealt a blow when Whatmough was shown a straight red card – his second of the season.

The defender took a heavy touch and dived in two-footed on Charlie Brown to try to win the ball back.

There was not too much connection made with the Dons substitute, but referee Martin Coy deemed it dangerous enough to send the centre-back off.

And although there was still plenty of endeavour being shown by Pompey, their opponents saw the game out to claim the points.

MK Dons (3-5-1-1): Fisher; Lewington (c), Darling, Jules; Laird, O’Riley, Surman (Houghton 84), Kasumu (Brown 66), Sorinola; Fraser (McEachran 66); Grigg
Goals: Fraser 41 (pen)
Booked: Lewington, Jules
Subs not used: Nicholls, Sørensen, Bird, Mason

Pompey (4-2-3-1): MacGillivray; Johnson, Whatmough, Raggett (Cannon 76), Daniels; Naylor (c), White (Byers 58); Harness, Williams (Nicolaisen 58), Curtis; Marquis
Sent off: Whatmough
Booked: Daniels, Byers
Subs not used: Ward, Bolton, Downing, Stanley

Referee: Martin Coy

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