Relegation-threatened MK Dons take on playoff hopefuls Charlton in League One this Saturday.
Form and Table
MK Dons currently sit in the relegation zone, six points from safety after a torrid run of form. They have picked up just one point so far in 2018, despite sacking Robbie Neilson after defeat to Northampton. New manager Dan Micciche certainly hasn’t made an impact at all, losing his first four games in charge, scoring just one goal in the process. Defeats to Coventry (in the cup), Portsmouth, Walsall and Oldham means that MK Dons could be facing two relegations in three seasons unless results start improving. They do have games in hand over teams around them but Micciche will be desperate to get at least his first point as MK boss against The Addicks.
Charlton have not been on great form either. After no win in eight, they then won three games in a row before failing to win their last three, meaning it’s just three wins in 14. They sit just outside the playoffs in 7th but only four points ahead of 12th placed Gillingham. Charlton need to start getting consecutive wins again if they’re to get back in the playoffs and against to such an out of form team like MK will view it as a great chance to end the winless run. The recurring theme for Charlton is that they can not hold on to a victory having taken the lead. In the last three games, they lead Oxford 2-1 with just a few minutes left before losing 2-3 as well as conceding in the 94th minute to draw with Oxford and the 80th minute to draw with Bradford. So if Charlton have a slim lead late on they may start to get very fearful of blowing it again.
Earlier this week, MK revealed that midfielder Alex Gibley will be out for the remainder of the season. Gibley has played in 25 of MK Dons’s 31 games this season and is sidelined for the rest of the campaign after undergoing knee surgery. Defenders Joe Walsh and Scott Goldbourne are also both sidelined for the rest of the campaign and won’t feature on Saturday. MK Dons did not state whether Chuks Aneke, Peter Pawlett and Osman Sow will return from their injuries this weekend and stated they are hoping to get those three players back as soon as possible.
As for Charlton, they will most likely have the same squad to choose from as they did the Bradford game. Billy Clarke is sidelined for the season with his knee injury while defender Naby Sarr also remains injured. Jason Pearce isn’t quite ready for a return to the lineup yet but will be available in Charlton’s following game against Shrewsbury and Stephy Mavididi has returned to Arsenal for treatment on his hamstring injury but will return when he is fit and ready to play again.
Back in mid-November, Kieran Agard netted a dramatic last-gasp penalty as MK Dons secured a 2-2 draw at Charlton. Charlton looked to have won the game three minutes earlier when Tarique Fosu’s cross was turned into his own net by Scott Golbourne. However, referee Andy Woolmer controversially thought Peter Pawlett was tripped in the box in the last minute of the game and Agard netted his second of the game to salvage a point.
With both sides very much struggling to win at the moment, a draw looks the most likely result I feel. Charlton look the better side over recent games and have picked up mainly draws as well as few wins since the new year instead of losses like MK Dons have. But with just one away win since October and the fact MK Dons would most likely be happy for a point, that to me seems more likely.
Prediction: MK Dons 1-1 Charlton