Preview: Northampton Town (A)
Stephen Gleeson (left)
April 28 2009
No Stephen Gleeson or Sean O'Hanlon for the Dons for their previously rained off fixture against Northampton Town, but Peter Leven and Aaron Wilbraham came through part of Saturday's 0-1 defeat to Walsall unscathed.
The two sides meet for the third time this season after March's game at Sixfields was called off at half-time due to a waterlogged pitch, with the scores level at 0-0.
O'Hanlon misses out after picking up a knee injury half an hour in to Saturday's fixture at stadium:mk. Loanee Gleeson went off on a stretcher, looking in some pain, and the club are waiting for further news on the extent of his injury after he underwent x-rays at Milton Keynes Hospital on Saturday evening.
Jude Stirling is expected to fill in for O'Hanlon alongside Miguel Llera, while Gleeson will most probably be replaced by Leven, who made a good impression in a dire game as a substitute on Saturday following injury. Wilbraham is also in contention for a starting spot, similarly to Leven only being used as a sub after injury on Saturday. He will most probably replace Tore Andre Flo in attack.
Ali Gerba missed out on Saturday due to injury and hobbled round the pitch for the players' lap of honour following the game, and is labelled as a doubt. Danny Swailes is back in full training but it will take time for him to find full fitness and he is unlikely to feature this season.
Northampton have multiple problems with captain Chris Doig ruled out with a groin injury. Dangerman Adebayo Akinfenwa has a small hamstring problem but will hope to feature, as will Jason Crowe. Paul Rodgers and Giles Coke are definitely out with knee and calf injuries respectively.
Despite Saturday's loss meaning that the automatic promotion dream is over, Tuesday's match remains an important one for both sides. Dons will jump back into third place with a win and hold a two point advantage, with a superior goal difference, over Millwall with one match left to play. Four points from these final two fixtures will see us avoid both the Lions and Leeds until a possible trip to Wembley for the playoff final.
Northampton are in trouble at the wrong end of the table, but a win tonight would see them secure their League One safety with a game to play. As it stands they are two places, but also only two points, above the final relegation spot, which Carlisle United occupy. The Cumbrians host Millwall on Saturday while Brighton & Hove Albion, behind the Cobblers on goal difference, play Stockport County at home. Northampton go away to Leeds, a trip that will most likely see them relying on other results due to Leeds' formidable home form.
The two sides met for the first time in the Dons' existence at stadium:mk for the Dons' opening home game of the League One campaign. A solitary Aaron Wilbraham goal saw MK take their first three points of the season.
As with the abandoned fixture, the match referee will be Premier League official Mr Keith Stroud. There has been a change to the linesman, with Mr S Beck and Mr A Watts taking the flags, but the fourth official is again Mr P Gibbs.
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