It’s 5th vs 3rd in Sky Bet League Two on Saturday afternoon as Tranmere Rovers take on MK Dons in a battle between promotion rivals at Prenton Park.
There are just five matches to go, the race for promotion is hotting up and Rovers are in there with a fighting chance. If not by taking one of the three automatic promotion places, then certainly a spot in the play-offs.
Four of the ‘Final Five’ matches are against teams who are also battling for those top spots, so it is very much all to play for, starting this weekend when MK Dons visit the Wirral Peninsula.
The term ‘six-pointer’ is often used to describe games like this. There is a four-point gap currently between Micky Mellon’s Rovers in fifth and MK Dons under Paul Tisdale who sit third. Victory for Rovers and that margin narrows to just one point, defeat and it opens up to seven points and significantly lessens the chances of Tranmere making the top three at the end of the season.
Obviously, given the league positions of both clubs, they have enjoyed excellent seasons so far, so it will be a game between two good sides.
Paul Tisdale is in his first campaign at the helm at MK Dons and, after relegation from League One last season, he has put them in a healthy position to return to English football’s third tier at the first time of asking.
So, to summarise, when I’m trying to say is, it’s a BIG game!
Both teams are coming into the game in pretty good form.
Rovers obviously had an excellent run of seven victories in a row recently which ended at Oldham 10 days ago, but Micky Mellon’s men picked up a very creditable 0-0 draw at play-off chasing Newport County last weekend to get them back on track again.
MK Dons were beaten 2-0 at home to champions elect Lincoln City last weekend, but prior to that had won seven out of nine matches with one draw and one defeat in that run of fixtures. Defeat to the side which is likely to win the title shouldn’t dent their confidence too much.
Looking through their side and there’s a few names which stand out.
Dean Lewington has been a mainstay in the side once again this season, as he has been forever! The 34-year-old full back has made more than 700 appearances for the club, quite a feat in modern day football.
In attack, Kieran Agard is their leading goalscorer with 21 goals in all competitions this season, and he’ll be the main threat for the Rovers rearguard to worry about undoubtedly.
And if Agard isn’t firing on all cylinders, then Chuks Aneke is on hand to step off the bench and cause problems. The former Arsenal academy graduate has netted 18 goals from 27 starts during this campaign, but has found himself as a substitute in Dons’ last four outings.
No fresh injury concerns were reported by Micky Mellon is his pre-match press conference ahead of the game. Luke McCullough, Steve McNulty and Ishmael Miller all remain absent though through injury.
MK Dons are missing a few players themselves. George Williams, Alex Gilbey, Baily Cargill and Jordan Moore-Taylor are all likely to miss the trip to Wirral.
To conclude, it’s another important game at Prenton Park and one which you need to be at if you possibly can be. We’re behind the ‘Pack The Park’ campaign being run by the club, so if you haven’t already got your ticket for the match, make sure you do and cheer the lads on. Head to www.trfctickets.co.uk to order online.