The Big Match Preview

By Steve Manning

The Bucks Derby

Venue: Stadiummk (capacity: 30,500)

Competition: League One –

Matchday: 14 of 46.


Dons – Pos: 22nd P 13 W 3 D 1 L 9 gf 13 ga 21 gd -8 Pts: 10

Top Scorer: Will Grigg – 4 goals.

Top Assist Provider: Dawson Devoy – 2 assists.

Chairboys – Pos: 13th P 14 W 5 D 2 L 6 gf 17 ga 17 gd: nil Pts: 17

Top Scorer: Anis Mehmeti – 6 goals.

Top Assist Provider: Garath McCleary – 3 assists.

Previous results: The Dons beat League Two Walsall by a 2-0 scoreline in the Pizza Trophy as the side earned a home tie for the second round. Wycombe won 4-3 on penalties after drawing 1-1 at home to Peterborough United. In the same competition, but were eliminated on goal difference.

Head to head:

Dons wins: 9 Drawn: 3 Chairboys wins: 4 –  Dons goals: 25 Chairboys goals: 19

Last meeting: 08 May 2022 League One Promotion Play-Off semi-final 2nd leg: – Dons 1 Wycombe 0 (Wycombe won 2-1 on aggregate) – (at Stadiummk)

Walsall reaction:

Henry Lawrence says MK Dons must use Tuesday’s victory over League Two Walsall, to lift spirits in the Dons camp ahead of their Derby day clash against Wycombe Wanderers on Saturday afternoon.

Lawrence who scored his first senior competitive goal – in midweek – as the Dons beat Walsall 2-0 at the Poundland Bescot Stadium to secure their place in the knockout stages of the Papa John’s Trophy. Told iFollow MK Dons:

“It was a much needed performance and win to get the confidence back in the boys,” the Chelsea loanee told iFollow MK Dons afterwards. “We can take a lot of confidence from it, especially in the first half.

It doesn’t matter what the competition is – we always want to come out and put in good performances and win, and we did that here. We want to get that ball rolling in the league now.”

Lawrence added: “It’s a much-needed confidence boost, it’s a stepping stone for us to come back in on Thursday to analyse and use to improve on Saturday.”

The 21-year-old was making only his second start since the start of September and, reflecting on his performance

He said: “I was really pleased with my own performance. There are always things you can improve on, like in every game, but after not playing in a while, putting in a performance like that was really pleasing for me.

“I was really pleased with the goal – although I could have had a hat-trick tonight! Whenever I want to go out there, I want to help the team first and foremost but you always want to get forward and get goals and assists too. I was happy I could do that.”

How Dons could line up?

I don’t need to tell you, Its like breaking eggs now.. variant of 3-4-3.

Possible Dons Starting XI: 3-4-3

  1. Jamie Cumming;

4. Jack Tucker, 5. Warren O’Hora, 3. Dean Lewington;

22. Henry Lawrence, 14. Bradley Johnson, 7. Matt Smith, 21 Daniel Harvie;

20. Darragh Burns, 9. Will Grigg, 16. Conor Grant.

How Chairboys could line up?

Boss Ainsworth has stuck with his tried and tested 3 man defence this season, operating with a 3-4-2-1 formation.

Possible Chairboys starting XI: 3-4-2-1

  1. Max Stryjek;

5. Chris Forino, 20. Alfie Mawson, 3. Joe Jacobsen (c)

26. Jason McCarthy, 22. Nick Freeman, 10. Lewis Wing, 23. Jonathan Obita;

12. Garath McCleary, 11. Anis Mehmeti;

9. Sam Vokes.

One’s to Watch:

Darragh Burns – Dons: Irish attacker Burns would be an ideal pick to go up against county rivals Wycombe in this battle of Bucks. His pace will undoubtedly cause a few problems for Ainsworth’s Chairboys who typically don’t play a lot of football on the floor. Could win a few decisions in critical areas for Liam Manning’s side if he plays.

Nick Freeman – Chairboys: Freeman is a very useful outlet for Gareth Ainsworth’s Wanderers side. Versatile enough to sit deep and protect the back 3 if required to do so, he is also capable of joining or starting attacks from the centre of midfield. Must be kept on a short leash by any opponent as he will look for the killer through ball if given the time and space to do so.

Score Prediction:

Dons 2 Wycombe 1

Another Derby day win for Liam Manning’s men, it will be tight but a very winnable fixture for the Dons.

Goal Scorer? Only one man for the job let’s hope we’ve got the fire extinguishers ready…  its William Donald Grigg.

Match Odds supplied by Oddschecker:

Dons win: 9/5 Draw: 11/5 Chairboys win: 6/4 Dons to win 2-1: 17/2

Thanks for joining me for this Wycombe preview, safe travels to everyone on Saturday, and enjoy the game!

Until Next Time, SM.

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