Match Preview | MK Dons v Argyle
The two games that Argyle played against Milton Keynes Dons last season were significant for very different reasons.
In December, the trip to Stadium MK marked Steven Schumacher's first match not only as Argyle boss, but as a manager, full stop. The game finished in a 1-1 draw, with Tennai Watson's first-half goal for the hosts followed by a second-half Conor Grant equaliser.
At the end of the season, Dons visited Home Park on the final weekend of the season, and inflicted a 5-0 defeat that ended the Pilgrims' hopes of reaching the Sky Bet League One play-offs.
Argyle have had four visits in total to Stadium MK, winning on their first two visits in 2011 and 2017, before a 2-1 defeat in March 2021.
Milton Keynes are 22nd in League One, with just three wins from their 12 games. They began with three defeats without scoring, before a flurry of points gained from a home win against Port Vale, a home draw with Accrington Stanley and a 4-0 victory at Morecambe. Since then, though, they have lost five of their last six league games, with just a 2-1 win at Oxford United breaking their poor run.
Dons have scored 12 league goals this season, with Northern Ireland international Will Grigg top scoring with three. Grigg is a former Sunderland and Wigan Athletic striker, back at MK Dons following a loan spell two seasons ago.
Bradley Johnson will be a familiar name to many, the 35-year-old midfielder having signed in the summer following a distinguished career taking in spells at Leeds United, Norwich City, Derby County and Blackburn Rovers.
Dean Lewington, the 38-year-old defender who has been with Milton Keynes since their inception, is still playing, having started 10 league games this season, taking him to 864 appearances in all competitions since his first game for the club in 2004.
Milton Keynes are managed by Liam Manning, who took the job in August 2021. Still only 37, Manning began his coaching career in Ipswich Town's academy, and had a job as West Ham United's Under-23 boss before having coaching roles with New York City. He spent a year managing Lommel in Belgium before heading to Milton Keynes.
“I’ve watched a fair bit of their footage back, and their games have been really close, like nearly all games in League One are. They are not getting battered by anyone, they are in the games. The game on Tuesday night, against Bristol Rovers, they were in the game, it was a penalty decision that separated the outcome.
“They are only one good performance away from clicking into gear and getting that confidence back. It’s our job to make sure that good performance doesn’t come on Saturday.”
Dan Scarr is suspended following his sending off against Accrington Stanley. Macaulay Gillesphey and Danny Mayor have missed the last two games and will be assessed ahead of this trip. Long-term injuries to Mickel Miller and James Bolton continue to rule them out.
Tickets will remain on sale at the Home Park Ticket Office for in person, phone bookings and online at argyletickets.com until 3pm on Friday, 14 October. After this, supporters will be able to buy on the day from MK Dons, via the Away Booth at Gate 3.
If you have booked tickets for collection, they will also be available to collect from the Home Park Ticket Office until 3pm on Friday 14 October. Any tickets not collected after this will be sent to MK Dons and you will be able to collect from the Away Booth at Gate 3 from 1pm.
The game will be covered on Argyle TV, with commentary from Charlie Price and Katie Middleton. Both will be on hand for a pre-match show which will be available for free on YouTube from 2pm.
Audio commentary of the game is available for £2.50 in the UK, and live video streaming is available for overseas supporters.