By Steve Manning
Steve’s first Big Match Preview of 2023 is the longest away trip of our season to face the league leaders.
Venue: Home Park (capacity: 17,900)
Competition: EFL League One – Matchday: 24 of 46
Plymouth Argyle – Position: 1st
Pld 24 W 16 D 5 L 3 gf 43 ga 25 gd +18 Pts 53
Top league scorer: Ryan Hardie & Morgan Whittaker – 8 goals each.
Top assist provider: Bali Mumba – 5 assists.
Previous result: 29/12/22 – Home Park: Plymouth 1 Wycombe 0 (EFL League One)
MK Dons – Position: 22nd
Pld 23 W 6 D 3 L 14 gf 22 ga 33 gd -11 Pts: 21
Top League scorer: Will Grigg & Bradley Johnson – 5 goals each.
Top assist provider: Dawson Devoy – 3 assists.
Previous result: 29/12/22 – Peterborough 2 Dons 0 (EFL League One)
Head to head:
Plymouth wins: 5 Drawn: 1 Dons wins: 3
Plymouth goals: 12 Dons goals: 11
Previous meeting: 15/10/2022 – Stadiummk: MK Dons 1 Plymouth 4 (EFL League One)
Peterborough Utd in review:
Peterborough United took the spoils in this boxing day ding-dong between two long standing rivals.
Posh retained bragging rights with a 2-0 victory which pushed them into the play-off places, and saw Mark Jackson’s Dons slip to third bottom of league one.
The result meant a first defeat for the new head coach in his first away fixture at the helm of the Dons.
Jamie Cumming again proved the difference between just two goals and the MK coming away from Peterborough on the end of a pummelling.
Cumming was helpless with the two he let in, finishes from Joe Ward, and Ricky-Jade Jones proving the difference on the night. The on-loan stopper did deny, however, Posh top scorer Jonson Clarke-Harris from the penalty spot.
The performance underlies the work facing Jackson and his staff, and maybe has helped to decide who he will be advising Sporting Director Liam Sweeting to move on in the January transfer window.
Plymouth away offers this club a chance to draw a line, and start 2023 with a clean slate.
How the Pilgrims could line up:
Pilgrims boss Schumacher has seen relatively success with the streamlined 4-2-2-2 formation, its yielded 16 wins so far this season and the side are clear at the top of League one.
Possible Pilgrims starting XI: 4-2-2-2
- Michael Cooper; 21. Nigel Lonwijk, 5. James Wilson (c), 6. Dan Scarr, 3. Macauley Gillesphey; 4. Jordan Houghton, 20. Adam Randall; 19. Morgan Whittaker, 10. Danny Mayor; 9. Ryan Hardie, 16. Sam Cosgrove.
How Dons could line up:
Expect Jackson to keep the same formation as he has used in his first two games in charge. 3-4-1-2 should be the shape we see at Home Park.
Possible Dons starting XI: 3-4-1-2
- Jamie Cumming; 4. Jack Tucker, 5. Warren O’Hora (c), 33. Zak Jules; 2. Tennai Watson, 14. Brad Johnson, 6. Josh McEachran, 21. Daniel Harvie; 11. Nathan Holland; 10. Mo Eisa, 9. Will Grigg.
One’s to Watch?
Morgan Whittaker – Plymouth: Attacking midfielder Whittaker is currently on-loan from championship outfit Swansea City. His goals, 8 so far have him joint top of Argyle’s chart and his attacking potency could be a problem for The Dons if he isn’t dealt with.
Nathan Holland – The Dons: Holland looks a completely different player under Jackson, the freedom given to him in the No.10 role behind the front two may play in to his and his side’s hands in this new years day encounter.
Plymouth 2 Dons 1
Top of the table, there to be shot down of course. But Plymouth maybe too soon to be expecting anything close to a win. Would love to be proven wrong of course .. over to you Dons.
Match Odds supplied by Oddschecker:
Plymouth win: 4/5 Draw: 5/2 Dons win: 16/5
Plymouth to win 2-1: 7/1
Thanks for reading the Big New Years Day Match Preview, hopefully if you are spending your day down in Devon there will be some points to be cheering by 5pm.
Until Next Time, SM.