Bristol Rovers v MK Dons Match Preview

By Simon Gray

Bristol Rovers will be hoping to put a torrid week behind them when they entertain MK Dons this weekend at the Memorial Stadium.

Rovers lost 1-0 to Rochdale last time out, taking the tally of losses in a row up to three and have not scored since the 6-0 demolition of Northampton at the start of the month but manager Darrell Clarke has spoke of his optimism ahead of the game on Saturday.

“It can change pretty quickly, after the Northampton game we were top scorers in the league,” Clarke told the Bristol Post.

“Do I think we deserved goals in the last three games, to be honest yes I do, but it’s about putting the ball in the back of the net. It’s disappointing but Saturday is another game.

“I certainly think all areas of our game we need to improve on.

“We are underachieving at the minute as a group and you only get back to consistency by winning your next game.”

Rovers will be without striker Ellis Harrison for the game after he picked up his fifth booking of the season at Rochdale. Rovers could also be missing Billy Bodin, who is still nursing a hamstring injury picked up at Northampton.

Centre back Jonny Burn could be available for selection after featuring for the development squad in the week but James Clarke remains a long-term absentee.

MK Dons go into the game struggling to find form themselves; the Dons are winless in the league in October, picking up two points from a possible 12.

After the 4-4 home draw with Oldham last time out, manager Robbie Neilson spoke of his disappointment to the start of the season made by his side.

“We’ve not had a great start to the season,” Neilson told MK Citizen.

“We’ve been stop-start. We need to get back to winning ways. We went through a period where we were doing really well, but the last three or four have been sticky for us.

“But with the injuries we’ve had, the errors we’ve made and the bad luck we’ve had, we hope we’re through it and can start to build some momentum.

“It’s still very tight at the moment. If you pick up two or three wins, we’ll be in the play-offs and we can kick on from there.”

Osman Sow is the only absentee going into the game, after the forward suffered an ankle injury in their match against Walsall.

Stats

MK Dons goalkeeper Lee Nicholls had a loan spell at Rovers during the 2015/16 season.

This will be the 10th meeting between the two sides, Rovers have won just one of the nine previous encounters.

The two results between the sides last season ended in draws, a 0-0 at the Memorial Stadium before a thrilling 3-3 at stadium:MK.

21, Bristol Rovers fan for as long as i can remember. Highlight has to be to 06/07 Play Off win. Seen Rovers at 43/92 clubs in England and counting.

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