The Big Match Preview


By Steve Manning

Cheltenham Town v The Dons

Venue: Completely x Suzuki Stadium (capacity – 7,066)

Competition: EFL League One

Matchday: 16 of 46.


Cheltenham Town – Pos: 18th P 15 W 5 D 2 L 8 gf 13 ga 20 gd -7 Pts: 17.

Top Scorers: Alfie May, and Dan N’lundulu – 3 goals.

Top Assist Provider: Alfie May, and Ryan Jackson – 2 assists.

The Dons – Pos: 21st P 15 W 4 D 1 L 10 gf 15 ga 22 gd -7 Pts: 13.

Top Scorer: Will Grigg – 5 goals.

Top Assist Provider: Dawson Devoy – 2 assists.

Previous results:

Cheltenham beat Morecambe one-nil at home, and The Dons ended a run of 5 straight defeats with a two-nil victory over Charlton Athletic on Tuesday evening.

Head to Head:

Robins wins: 2 Drawn: 1 Dons wins: 6 Robins goals: 13 Dons goals: 22

Last meeting:

30 August 2022: The Dons 1 Cheltenham 2 (Papa John’s Trophy, Group Stage)

Charlton review:

Will Grigg’s penalty, and a Bradley Johnson free-kick secured MK Dons a 2-0 victory at 10-man Charlton to end a run of five straight league defeats for Liam Manning’s struggling Dons.

The visitors came into the game rooted at the foot of the the League One table, while Charlton were unbeaten in five games.

But it was Manning’s side who forced the lead, in the 66th minute, when Grigg took full advantage after Charlton defender Ryan Inniss was dismissed after collecting a second yellow card for bringing down Aston Villa loanee Louie Barry inside the Charlton penalty area.

And veteran midfielder Johnson doubled the Dons lead with a superbly struck 78th minute free-kick from 20 yards out after Dawson Devoy had been fouled to wrap up a deserved win.

The Dons looked the most threatening of the two sides throughout the contest, and Grigg almost made the breakthrough shortly before the interval when his first time shot struck the bar.

Charlton struggled to break down the visitors’ well organised defence with Palace loanee Rak-Sakyi’s long range shot their best effort on goal.

The win lifted Manning’s Dons to within touching distance of safety, and lifted the gloom that had hung over the club in recent weeks.

How the Robins could line up?

Wade Elliott usually operates with a 3 at the back defence, and two wingbacks, 2 central midfielders, one attacking midfielder sitting behind a strike partnership up front.

Possible Robins starting XI?

  • 1. Luke Southwood;
  • 5. Charlie Raglan, 14. Caleb Taylor, 6. Lewis Freestone;
  • 22. Ryan Jackson, 8. Liam Sercombe, 28. Taylor Perry, 3. Ben Williams;
  • 32. Ryan Broom;
  • 7. Charlie Brown, 9. Dan N’Lundulu.

How Dons could line Dons:

Liam Manning could opt to play with Grigg in a more advanced position with two attacking midfielders sitting just behind the Northern Irishman.

Possible Dons starting XI? 3-4-2-1

  • 1. Jamie Cumming;
  • 5. Warren O’Hora, 3. Dean Lewington (c), 33. Zak Jules;
  • 22. Henry Lawrence, 14. Bradley Johnson, 6. Josh McEachran, 21. Daniel Harvie;
  • 19. Louie Barry, 11. Nathan Holland;
  • 9. Will Grigg.

One’s to Watch:

Ryan Broom – The Robins: Broom is one of the most highly rated attacking midfielders in the EFL at the minute.

Broom possesses great ability with the ball at his feet, and is also very handy when he is presented with deadball situations.

Zak Jules – The Dons: Zak has gone from being a pariah amongst the Dons fan base, to lauded as a born again footballer who is becoming un-droppable.

Such has been the towering Scot’s influence on the Dons backline he has even got himself onto the scoresheet since breaking into the first team picture. Will have a big say on how this game plays out.

Score Prediction:

Cheltenham Town 1 The Dons 2

A win could be feasible against similar standard of opposition in Cheltenham Town.

Both sides are probably sitting in false positions for different reason’s in all fairness, the Dons of course with a big result against Charlton could use that result as a springboard in Gloucestershire.

Goal scorers? Zak Jules, and Will Grigg.

Match Odds supplied by Oddschecker:

Cheltenham win: 13/8 – Draw: 2/1 – Dons win: 9/5

Dons to win 2-1: 9/1 – Both sides to score and Dons to win: 24/5.


Remember that you can join up with the MKDSA, or renew last season’s membership either online at: or at the MKDSA Shop on any home matchday. Prices start at just £3 adults, and £1.50 children.

Find out more about the benefits here:

If you are going to the game at the Completely x Suzuki Stadium on Saturday afternoon, have a safe journey!

Until Next Time, SM.

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