Callum’s Walsall Matchday Preview

By Callum Burgess – @calstagram123 – writer of The MK Fellas – @mkfellas

Milton Keynes Dons return to StadiumMK on Good Friday to play Mat Sadler’s Walsall, who will be hoping to jumpstart a late push for the playoffs at the end of the current League Two campaign.

Walsall currently find themselves in 10th place ahead of their clash against the Dons and only three points away from Crawley Town, who are three points ahead of the Saddlers in the final playoff place.

Although they sit behind Gillingham and AFC Wimbledon, they have two games in hand on their promotion rivals, which gives them a considerable advantage over the two sides.

MK Dons are still in fourth place but suffered a massive blow in their hopes for automatic promotion when they lost 5-0 to Stockport County last weekend.

Although the Dons started brightly, they couldn’t take their chances, and the individual brilliance of Stockport’s players began to shine through, and Mike Williamson’s men just couldn’t keep up.

The biggest positive for the MK Dons fans is that the side seems to have a bounce-back ability after suffering a loss in their previous game, and they will need to show this same level of intent to keep their hopes of automatic promotion alive.

Their form isn’t as good as Mat Sadler would want from his side, with them losing 2-0 to relegation-threatened Forest Green and drawing 1-1 to Colchester United in their last fixture in two of their previous three games.

In the reverse fixture, Walsall hosted MK Dons in a 0-0 draw at the Bescot Stadium, where the club’s winless run stretched to six games under Graham Alexander’s management.

Midfielder Isaac Hutchinson could be a thorn in the side for the Dons, as he currently has the most goals and assists for Walsall this season.

It will be interesting to see what team Mike Williamson puts out to face Walsall on Friday after such a crushing defeat in their previous game. With more players returning to full fitness, some players could make their way out of their team in their attempts to beat Walsall.

Milton Keynes Dons Form
Walsall Form
Team News

MK Dons and Walsall will have players return from injury to face off against each other on Friday, in what is a crucial time for both clubs near the end of the season.

Striker Max Dean came on as a substitute against Stockport County, and after a week of training, he will likely start back up front for the Dons on Friday.

Filip Marschall was on the substitute bench for Stockport County, and it is likely he will come in for Michael Kelly, who conceded five times against the Hatters. With Nathan Harness going on loan to Gateshead, it shows a further extent to bring the Aston Villa loanee right back into the mix after his injury.

Jack Tucker is also someone who might make his way back into the matchday squad, but it could prove to be too early for the defender, and Mike Williamson might prove reluctant to rush him back to the side after such a lengthy period on the sidelines.

In Mat Sadler’s pre-MK Dons press conference, Jamille Matt could be involved in the next two games, but he is unlikely to start up front for Walsall on Friday.

Donervan Daniels, Priestley Farquharson, and Aramide Oteh returned to training but remain doubts against MK Dons. Danny Johnson will be available for selection, and Jamie Jellis could also feature against the Dons.

Milton Keynes Dons predicted line-up: Marschall, Norman, O’Hora, Harvie, Lofthouse, Bate, Payne, Tomlinson, Gilbey, Wearne, and Dean.

Walsall predicted line-up: Smith, Allen, Okagbue, Adegboyega, Gordon, Earing, Comely, Hutchinson, Foulkes, Gordon, and Johnson.

Milton Keynes Dons need a win more than anything at the moment.

Morale is low for the fans who turned to social media to slate certain players for their performance against Stockport County, and a win would give a real boost to the club in their push for promotion.

Walsall also picked up a draw against Barrow in their last three games, so this shows that they can compete against the higher-level sides in the league, and I don’t think they will give up without a fight.

I believe MK Dons will have more quality on Good Friday, and this quality will be reflected in the final scoreline.

Prediction: Milton Keynes Dons 3-1 Walsall

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