Dons face tougher Red Devils

  • Last Updated: August 29 2014, 14:14 BST

MK Dons are tipped for a tough return to Sky Bet League 1 action after beating Manchester United in midweek.

MK Dons: Return to Sky Bet League 1 action against Crawley
MK Dons: Return to Sky Bet League 1 action against Crawley

Nick Hext's best bets for the weekend's action in Sky Bet League 1 are here. Match-by-match score verdicts and team news have arrived too.

Back Crawley/Draw in Double Chance market v MK Dons

I'm certain MK Dons will find the going tougher against the Red Devils of Crawley than they did the Red Devils of Manchester United in midweek. The Dons were fantastic as they beat lacklustre United 4-0 and deserve all the praise they have received. That doesn't mean you should back them against Crawley though. Karl Robinson's men drew at home to Coventry last weekend and it took a comeback from 2-0 down to beat Gillingham at stadiummk on the opening day of the season. Crawley won at Barnsley earlier in the season and I fancy them to make it tough for the Dons. Take Crawley/Draw in the Double Chance market as this match will be close.

Back Barnsley to beat Yeovil

Barnsley make the long journey south to Yeovil on Saturday and I fancy them to pick up the victory in a battle between two sides relegated from the Sky Bet Championship last season. The Tykes claimed a convincing 4-1 win over Gillingham last weekend and have enough attacking talent to worry any team in Sky Bet League 1. Sam Winnall and Leroy Lita both arrived at Oakwell over the summer and Devante Cole, son of Andy, is starting to make headlines since joining on loan from Manchester City. Yeovil lost to the other relegated side - Doncaster - on the first day of the season and I expect a second Yorkshire side to emerge with three points from Somerset.

Team news & score verdicts (league position in brackets)


Colchester (22) v Peterborough (2)

Drey Wright (knee) and Josh Thompson (hamstring) could be pushing for a return to first-team duty for Colchester. Manager Joe Dunne could rest George Moncur after insisting he wouldn't run his loan midfielder into the ground after playing three times this week.

Peterborough welcome back the fit-again Kgosi Ntlhe, Gaby Zakuani, Kenny McEvoy and new signing Marcus Maddison. Centre-half Michael Bostwick is rated 50-50 to be fit for this weekend while Jon Taylor (knee) will be assessed.

Last season: Peterborough 2 Colchester 0, Colchester 1 Peterborough 0

Last five league matches: Colchester W D L L L; Peterborough D W W L W

Top scorers: George Moncur (Colchester) 2; Kyle Vassell & Marcus Maddison (Peterborough) 4

Referee: Carl Boyeson (E Yorkshire) 

Our verdict: Colchester 1 Peterborough 3

Doncaster (9) v Oldham (21)

Doncaster can call on Harry Forrester after the forward missed Rovers' last three matches through suspension. Captain Rob Jones could also come back into contention after concerns a neck injury which kept him out for nine months had reoccurred.

Winless Oldham are unlikely to make too many changes after an impressive performance in the loss to Preston. Forward Amari Morgan-Smith, who is recovering from knee problem, could featuring more heavily, while Rhys Turner (hip) is still working his way back to full fitness.

Last season: No Corresponding fixture

Last five league matches: Doncaster L W L D W; Oldham D D L D L

Top scorers: Kyle Bennett & Harry Forrester (Doncaster) 2, Nathan Tyson & Jonathan Forte (Oldham) 3

Referee: Tony Harrington (Cleveland) 

Our verdict: Doncaster 1 Oldham 1

Fleetwood Town (1) v Leyton Orient (14)

Unbeaten Fleetwood's injury woes are easing in time for the visit of Leyton Orient. Stephen Dobbie (ankle) is edging nearer to a return while Keith Southern (hernia) is back training on grass. Jeff Hughes (broken leg) and Mark Roberts both played for the club's under-21s recently.

Capital One Cup heroes Orient will be without Kevin Lisbie, but Shaun Batt could return to the squad. Goalkeeper Adam Legzdins, captain Nathan Clarke, fellow defender Scott Cuthbert and midfielder Romain Vincelot could all return to the starting line-up.

Last season: No Corresponding fixture

Last five league matches: Fleetwood Town L W W W D; Leyton Orient W L W D D

Top scorers: Jamie Proctor (Fleetwood Town) 3; Romain Vincelot & Darius Henderson (Leyton Orient) 2

Referee: Richard Clark (Northumberland) 

Our verdict: Fleetwood 1 Leyton Orient 2

Gillingham (18) v Crewe (24)

Gillingham midfielder Josh Pritchard faces a fitness battle after picking up "a little bit of a groin injury" in Tuesday's Capital One Cup loss to Newcastle. The returning Cody McDonald came through the match unscathed, while Danny Kedwell should be fine despite a knock.

Crewe expect George Ray to feature despite needing stitches in a head injury, but on-loan midfielder Jamie Ness (hamstring) is definitely out. Harry Davis (knee), Ryan Colclough (hernia) and Thierry Audel (shoulder) are all unavailable.

Last season: Gillingham 1 Crewe 3, Crewe 0 Gillingham 3

Last five league matches: Gillingham D L W D L; Crewe W L L L L

Top scorers: Danny Kedwell (Gillingham) 4; Marcus Haber (Crewe) 3

Referee: Andrew Madley (West Yorkshire)

Our verdict: Gillingham 1 Crewe 0

MK Dons (7) v Crawley Town (13)

Lee Hodson remains a doubt for MK Dons, after sitting out his third successive match in the extraordinary 4-0 victory over Manchester United in the Capital One Cup. Benik Afobe came off the bench to score twice and will be pushing for a starting place.

Matt Harrold (knee) hopes to make his debut for Crawley after joining from Bristol Rovers in the summer. Skipper Josh Simpson remains sidelined for another week at least by the ankle injury he suffered on the opening day of the season.

Last season: Milton Keynes Dons 0 Crawley Town 2, Crawley Town 0 Milton Keynes Dons 2

Last five league matches: Milton Keynes Dons L W L W D; Crawley Town D W W L L

Top scorers: Benik Afobe (Milton Keynes Dons) 4; Izale McLeod (Crawley Town) 3

Match odds: H 8-11 A 18-5 D 12-5

Referee: Mark Heywood (Cheshire)

Our verdict: MK Dons 1 Crawley 2

Port Vale (16) v Chesterfield (11)

Port Vale boss Micky Adams is likely to make adjustments after he made seven changes to the side against Cardiff in the Capital One Cup. Full-back Richard Duffy and striker Ben Williamson are two likely to be recalled, having been rested against the Bluebirds.

Chesterfield's injury problems are mounting. Jay O'Shea (right abductor) and Romuald Boco (cheekbone) are both out. Ollie Banks may start, despite not being 100% fit, although he has been building up his match fitness after returning from a foot injury.

Last season: No Corresponding fixture

Last five league matches: Port Vale D D W D L; Chesterfield W W W L D

Top scorers: Tom Pope (Port Vale) 5; Eoin Doyle (Chesterfield) 4

Referee: Jeremy Simpson (Lancashire) 

Our verdict: Port Vale 0 Chesterfield 0

Preston (3) v Sheff Utd (12)

Preston defender Bailey Wright has a groin problem, and missed Tuesday's loss to Middlesbrough, so is likely to face a late fitness test. Both Andy Little and Paul Gallagher have minor knocks while Kyel Reid (knee) is still working his way back to fitness and fellow winger Lee Holmes (chest) also remains absent.

Blades defender Bob Harris could face a late fitness test after an ankle injury forced him out of the Capital One Cup win at West Ham. Winger Jamie Murphy and striker Michael Higdon are both hoping for recalls.

Last season: Preston 0 Sheff Utd 0, Sheff Utd 0 Preston 1

Last five league matches: Preston L D W D W; Sheff Utd W L L W W

Top scorers: Joe Garner (Preston) 3; Jose Baxter (Sheff Utd) 2

Referee: Seb Stockbridge (Tyne & Wear) 

Our verdict: Preston 1 Sheffield United 1

Rochdale (17) v Bradford (8)

Rochdale will retain Leicester goalkeeper Conrad Logan in their starting line-up against Bradford after extending his loan deal. Ollie Lancashire (groin) and Matty Lund (shoulder) are both still out, but Keith Hill has no other new injury or suspension problems.

Loan pair Mason Bennett and Jordan Pickford are available after they were refused permission to play for Bradford in the Capital One Cup. City will be without Andrew Davies (broken arm) while Billy Clarke (hamstring) returned to play the full 90 minutes in the Leeds win.

Last season: No Corresponding fixture

Last five league matches: Rochdale L L L W D; Bradford W W D W L

Top scorers: Ian Henderson & Matt Done (Rochdale) 3; James Hanson (Bradford) 4

Referee: Nigel Miller (Durham)

Our verdict: Rochdale 2 Bradford 0

Scunthorpe (23) v Walsall (20)

Scunthorpe will be without Deon Burton (knee ligament) but summer signing Billy Kee will return to contention after he was cup-tied in midweek. Russ Wilcox is unlikely to make too many changes following his side's encouraging display in the narrow defeat to Reading on Tuesday night.

Mathieu Manset is in line for his Walsall debut after the striker signed a one-year deal on Tuesday. James O'Connor (groin) is likely to return while James Chambers (hamstring) will be monitored, but Sam Mantom (knee), Jordan Cook and Ben Purkiss (both ankle) will not be available.

Last season: No Corresponding fixture

Last five league matches: Scunthorpe D L L L D; Walsall L D D L D

Top scorers: Paddy Madden & Billy Kee (Scunthorpe) 2; Tom Bradshaw (Walsall) 2

Referee: Andy Davies (Hampshire) 

Our verdict: Scunthorpe 0 Walsall 1

Swindon (6) v Coventry (15)

Swindon look set to be without four key players in Nathan Thompson (suspension), Ben Gladwin (ligaments), Michael Smith and George Barker. Winger Tijane Reis has left the club while Ryan Harley and Darren Ward remain out of favour and will not be considered for selection once again.

Aaron Phillips could replace Jordan Clarke (illness) at right-back for Coventry with Clarke not expected to recover in time. Danny Pugh (ankle) is making good progress while Simeon Jackson is available once again.

Last season: Coventry 1 Swindon 2, Swindon 2 Coventry 1

Last five league matches: Swindon L W L D W; Coventry L L W D D

Top scorers: Michael Smith (Swindon) 4; Reda Johnson (Coventry) 2

Referee: Darren Deadman (Cambridgeshire)

Our verdict: Swindon 2 Coventry 0

Yeovil (19) v Barnsley (5)

Yeovil will be boosted by the return of Seth Nana Twumasi after serving a suspension for a red card against Gillingham. Gary Johnson remains without injured trio Joel Grant (foot), James Berrett (thigh) and Liam Davis (hand), who are all two weeks away from a return.

Dale Jennings is pushing for a recall to Barnsley's starting line-up after making an impact off the bench against Gillingham. James Bailey (hamstring) remains sidelined and Brad Abbott hopes to keep his place in the Reds' midfield in favour of Jennings.

Last season: No Corresponding fixture

Last five league matches: Yeovil L L L W D; Barnsley L L W D W

Top scorers: Kevin Dawson, James Hayter, Simon Gillett & Kieffer Moore (Yeovil) 1; Leroy Lita & Conor Hourihane (Barnsley) 2

Referee: Gavin Ward (Surrey)

Our verdict: Yeovil 1 Barnsley 3


Notts County (10) v Bristol City (4)

Cieron Keane and Nicky Wroe (both suspension) return to the Notts County squad for the visit of Bristol City. Teenage midfielder Reece Brown should feature following his arrival on loan from Birmingham while Danny Haynes (ankle) could also be involved.

Bristol City look set to hand Kieran Agard his debut following his arrival from Rotherham last week, with first-choice forward Sam Baldock now sold to Brighton. Boss Steve Cotterill has no other injury worries as he returns to the club where he spent four months in charge back in 2010.

Last season: Bristol City 2 Notts County 1, Notts County 1 Bristol City 1

Last five league matches: Notts County D D L W W; Bristol City D W W D D

Top scorers: Liam Noble (Notts County) 2; Aaron Wilbraham (Bristol City) 3

Referee: Dean Whitestone (Northamptonshire) 

Our verdict: Notts County 0 Bristol City 2