By Steve Manning
The Big Match Preview is sponsored by The Fleetmaster Group
The University of Bolton Stadium, Tuesday 14th February, Kick-Off 7:30pm
Matchday: 31 of 46
Team & Player Stats
Bolton Wanderers – Position: 4 of 24
Pld 31 W 16 D 8 L 7 gf 43 ga 23 gd +20 Points: 56
Top Scorer (Season): Dion Charles – 17 goals.
Top scorer: Dion Charles – 14 goals
Top assist provider: Conor Bradley – 4 assists
Previous result: Bolton ran out 5-0 victors over MK’s local rivals at the Weston Homes Stadium. (11/2/23)
MK Dons – Position: 20 of 24
Pld 30 W 8 D 5 L 17 gf 28 ga 41 gd -13 Points: 29
Top scorer (season): Mohamed Eisa – 7 goals
Top league scorer: Will Grigg & Brad Johnson – 5 goals
Top assist provider: Dawson Devoy – 3 assists
Previous result: Dons were held to a 1-1 score draw at home to Oxford United, 11/2/23
Bolton wins: 3 Drawn: 3 Dons wins: 3 Bolton goals: 11 Dons goals: 10
Last meeting: 13/09/22 – EFL League One. MK Dons 0 Bolton 2.
Oxford United in Review
Dons took a precious point at home to Karl Robinson’s Oxford and were unlucky to not take all three in this relegation six-pointer.
It was Mark Jackson’s side that took the lead however, with Sierra Leone International Sulley Kaikai scoring an impressive first goal for his new club.
Kaikai, and Eisa wasted other opportunities to extend their advantage over the U’s in the fixture, and this would come back to bite the hosts.
Oxford midfielder Lewis Bate levelled matters to pinch a point for the visitors, leaving the Dons sitting just above the bottom four in the third tier.
Former striker Sam Baldock made an appearance from the bench for Oxford, where his chorus of boos and the justification for that comes from I will never know – ex-players should be respected , especially if they’ve played a part in the club history regardless of who they now play for. Sam certainly has done that.
We move onto Bolton on Tuesday, and then onto Sheffield Wednesday, this Saturday two difficult places and two big performances needed.
How Bolton could line up:
Ian Evatt’s go to formation is the ever popular 3-4-1-2 formation, two wide players dropping back to help defend under the cosh. Possible Bolton starting XI:
Trafford; Toal, Santos (c), Mbete; Jones, Morley, Dempsey, John; Lee; Charles, Shoretire
How Dons could line up:
Expect Jackson to stick with the 4-2-3-1 formation he has employed over the past couple of weeks, a switch to 4-3-3 may come into play if the team is struggling.
Possible Dons starting XI:
Cumming; Watson, Tucker, Jules, Harvie (c); McEachran, Devoy; Kaikai, Leko, Dean; Eisa
Ones to watch
Dion Charles – striker: Northern Irish International Charles is the Trotters top scorer and talisman. Charles has been involved in many of Bolton’s goal contributions this season and has a habit of winning vital decisions inside the penalty box.
Josh McEachran – midfielder: JMc is enjoying something of a renaissance under Jackson, he can be relied on to pull the strings in the centre of midfield. Another string to his bow is his willingness to contribute from the bench if needed, a team first mentality that is needed in the fight against the drop.
Bolton Wanderers 2 MK Dons 2
A draw between two sides playing attractive football is my prediction.
Match Odds supplied by Ladbrokes
Bolton win: 7/10 Draw: 5/2 Dons win: 4/1 Game to finish 2-2: 16/1
First Dons Goalscorer/scorecast: 2-2 & Mo Eisa to score first – 80/1
Bolton away falling on the most romanticised night of the year, can just see Paddy shouting from the center-circle now – single fella reveal yourself … no Paddy, I won’t do that …
However, if you are going up to God’s country please show our lads some love, and help drive them on against the promotion chasing Trotters. It could be the difference on the night.
Enjoy the game! Until Next Time, SM.