Match Preview | Argyle v Milton Keynes Dons
For the second home game in succession, Argyle welcome opposition from Buckinghamshire, this time in the form of Milton Keynes Dons.
MK Dons are 22nd in Sky Bet League One, with 21 points from their 23 games. They have the worst home record in the division, but have fared a little better on the road, picking up 13 points from their 11 games away from home.
The Dons sacked manager Liam Manning on 11 December, with Dean Lewington and Bradley Johnson taking interim charge. Mark Jackson was appointed the new boss on 23 December. Jackson, as a player, played for Scunthorpe United, Kidderminster and Rochdale, among others.
As a coach, Jackson worked his way up the ranks of academy coaches at Leeds United to be the Under-23s manager, and then was appointed as a first-team coach under Jesse Marsch, before departing for MK.
Dons won their last game before Jackson took over, beating Portsmouth 2-0 at Fratton Park, and were then victorious in the new boss's first game in charge, winning 1-0 at home to Forest Green Rovers. Most recently, on Thursday, MK lost 2-0 away to Peterborough United.
Two of MK Dons' senior players lead the way in the goalscoring ranks. The aforementioned Bradley Johnson, now 35 and once of Leeds, Norwich City and Derby Country, has five league goals, as does experienced striker Will Grigg, who also has two in cup competitions. Still only 31, Grigg has scored goals for the likes of Brentford, Wigan and Sunderland, with two in 13 caps for Northern Ireland.
When the sides met earlier in the season, Argyle won 4-1, racing to 3-0 up by half-time, thanks to goals from Morgan Whittaker, Niall Ennis and Finn Azaz. Grigg got one back soon after half-time, but Azaz got his second on the hour mark, and Argyle cruised to victory.
Things were less rosy the last time the sides met at Home Park, when Milton Keynes won 5-0 to end Argyle's hopes of reaching the play-offs. Argyle will be looking to put that right when the sides meet again.
Steven Schumacher has reported no fresh injury concerns ahead of the game. James Bolton returned from injury to play the closing stages against Wycombe Wanderers on Thursday. He could be involved again.
New signing Ben Waine is not eligible to play until the game against Bolton on 3 January.
"It’s part of their DNA; they like to pass the ball. From what I have seen of Mark Jackson’s team so far, that is what they are doing. We’re not really expecting too much difference.
“You always get a bit of a reaction when a new manager comes in, which they have had. They had two really good results, then a tough night against Peterborough, but they are still a good team and it will be a hard game for us. If you are not defensively right against MK Dons, then as we saw last year, you get punished.
This game is sold-out for home supporters.
Turnstiles will open two hours before kick-off, from 1pm. Supporters are advised to enter through the turnstile identified on their match ticket. However, if neighbouring turnstiles have shorter queues, supporters are permitted to enter these to speed up access to the stadium.
The game is available to stream for domestic and overseas supporters, with commentary from Charlie Price and Brian McGlinchey.
From 2pm, Erin Black and Katie Middleton will bring you a pre-match show, streamed for free on YouTube, as we build up to the game.