By Steve Manning
The Big Match Preview is supported by Fleetmaster Group- Fleet Driver Training Solutions.
Port Vale v MK Dons – The Big Match Preview.
Vale Park, Saturday 4th March 2023.
EFL League One.
Matchday – 35 of 46.
Team & Player Statistics
Port Vale – Position: 16
Pld 34 W 11 D 7 L 16 gf 34 ga 49 gd -15 Points: 40
Top scorer (league): Ellis Harrison – 9 goals.
Top assist provider: Mipo Odubeko, Nathan Smith & James Wilson – 3 assists each.
Port Vale lost 2-1 away to Bolton last Saturday afternoon.
Milton Keynes Dons – Position: 22
Pld 34 W 8 D6 L 20 gf 31 ga 53 gd -22 Points: 30
Top scorer (season): Mohamed Eisa – 8 goals.
Top scorer (league): Mohamed Eisa, Will Grigg & Brad Johnson – 5 each.
Top assist provider: Dawson Devoy & Mohamed Eisa – 3 each.
MK Dons scored late against Lincoln at the LNER Stadium to take a point on the road.
Head to head:
Vale wins: 5 Drawn: 5 Dons wins: 5
Vale goals: 14 Dons goals: 17
MK Dons 2 Port Vale 1 – August 16, 2022. EFL League One.
Lincoln City in Review
Paris Maghoma scored a last gasp equaliser as Dons snatched an almost unlikely point from the Jaws of defeat on Tuesday night against the Imps.
Lincoln had not lost a home game all season and have been something of draw specialists this campaign.
Lincoln’s Danny Mandriou struck after just 5 mins of the contest – after some good work from Jack Diamond set the attacker on his way. Finishing off the Imps passage of play by curling past Cumming in the Dons goal.
The Dons went laboured their way through the first half, and were seemingly headed for a fourth straight defeat in as many games.
Head Coach Mark Jackson has since said publicly that “Honest words” were said in his dressing room at half-time. It seemed to have taken heed with his charges, as they turned in a better performance during the second half.
Dons’ Mo Eisa should have found hus mark when unleashing his effort on goal, only to be denied by City’s Paudie O’Connor, Will Grigg was denied by Carl Rushworth in the Imps goal as the contest wore on.
The aforementioned Mandriou should have doubled the hosts lead, but his stinging drive crashed off the Lincoln crossbar, before Maghima saved the day with his point saving strike.
How Vale could line up:
Vale Manager Darrell Clarke has used a 3-4-1-2 formation lately, expect him to set his team up in this way for thus encounter.
Possible Vale starting XI:
Stone; Forrester, Smith, Donnelly; Benning, Ojo, Pett, Worrall; Garritty, Proctor, Taylor.
How Dons could line up:
It’s a choice between the 4-3-3 used against Lincoln, or the 4-2-3-1 that has been a regular feature of all home games since Jackson’s arrival.
Possible Dons starting XI:
Cumming; Watson, Tucker, Jules, Harvie; Robson, McEachran; KaiKai, Holland, Grant; Eisa.
One’s to Watch:
Mal Benning – midfield/wingback: Benning is a member of their promotion winning squad from last season. Technically gifted, often utilised down the right wing he is also adept when presented with free-kick opportunities.
Nathan Holland – winger/attacker: yet to get a significant run of games in the side. Holland is starting to feature more, and his contributions have improved as a result.
His pace should be enough to create problems for this Vale defence, can he get himself on the scoresheet?
Port Vale 1 Dons 1
A tight and cagey affair in the potteries – score draw is this weekends prediction.
Match Odds supplied by ladbrokes:
Vale win: Evens Draw: 11/5 Dons win: 29/10
Game to finish in a 1-1 draw: 5/1
Thanks for joining me to crunch the numbers ahead of this fixture against Port Vale.
If you are making that trip to Burslem, safe travels to you all.
I will return ahead of the family fun day fixture against Cambridge United.
Until Next Time, SM.