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Preview: Scunthorpe United (A)

Dons v Scunny in MK

By Oli
April 18 2009

Every game's a cup final now. The automatic promotion dream is back on, but realistically four out of four wins will be needed to have any chance of clinching 2nd spot and that task starts with Saturday's difficult visit to playoff chasing Scunthorpe United.

Here's the situation, in brief; Dons are four points behind second placed Peterborough United with a game in hand. Four wins out of four for the Dons, and Posh need to drop points in just one of their remaining three fixtures to hand the Dons back-to-back promotions. If Peterborough match the Dons' results, it's playoff time.

Millwall are currently ahead of the Dons as well, but are maybe least likely to grab that second automatic promotion place. The Lions do not have any games in hand and are three points behind Peterborough, with an inferior goal difference, meaning they need Peterborough to fail to win two of their remaining three games.

Dons go into the game with key trio Peter Leven, Sam Baldock and Aaron Wilbraham all still doubts due to injury. Leven and Baldock trained lightly this week with long-term absentee Danny Swailes, who remains sidelined, but Wilbraham sat out.

That means the team could be unchanged from the one that beat Bristol Rovers 2-0 last Monday, but Alan Navarro and Jemal Johnson, the latter strangely underused in recent weeks for reasons possibly related to a new contract, will be vying for a starting spot.

Scunthorpe will be missing Kenny Milne to a knee injury, and midfielder Sam Togwell's tenth booking of the season last week against Huddersfield Town means he serves a two-match ban. Dons fans will be also thankful to hear that Garry Thompson, who has been a complete and utter pain in the backside against us while playing for both Scunthorpe and Morecambe misses out after a hernia operation.

Left-back Marcus Williams is fit after a calf injury and on-loan Arsenal midfielder Henri Lansbury is expected to start despite being substituted in Easter Monday's match against Hartlepool United due to injury.

There are no former Dons players in the current Scunthorpe squad but the two sides have met a few times in recent years. Earlier in the season Scunthorpe came to stadium:mk and produced a classic snatch and grab display, hitting the Dons on the break twice late on to record a 2-0 victory courtesy of Ian Morris, who is now on loan to Carlisle, and Thompson. In the 2005/06 season in League One, Dons won 1-0 at the National Hockey Stadium but fell to a 0-2 loss in the reverse fixture at Glanford Park.

The referee for Saturday's fixture will be Mr A Taylor. This will be Mr Taylor's third Dons fixture this season, having previously taken charge of our 1-1 home draw in front of the Sky cameras against Colchester United, sending off Jason Puncheon for a high challenge. Earlier in the season he oversaw possibly the worst game in football history as our defence of the Johnstone's Paint Trophy came to a rather pathetic end at the hands of Bournemouth. He dished out a red in that game too, sending off Flavien Belson for a challenge similar to Puncheon's. A draw, a loss, two reds, all bodes well.

Mr Taylor will be assisted by Mr D H Coote and Mr A R Holmes, and the fourth official will be Mr K D G Lawson.   

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Preview: Scunthorpe United (A)
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18/04/2009 01:26
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