There is a massive match taking place at the foot of the Sky Bet Championship on Saturday, as Neil Warnock’s in-form Rotherham United travel south to face MK Dons.
The Millers will go into the match now seven games unbeaten, with a derby day victory over Leeds and an important win over fellow relegation strugglers Bristol City the latest results to their tally.
Very few people would have predicted this upturn of form before Warnock took charge in February, and this run they are on is their longest unbeaten period the club has had since April 2014. However, this season Rotherham have been poor away from home – gaining 15 points on the road compared to 28 points at the New York Stadium.
On the contrary, Karl Robinson’s MK Dons have been better at home, with 24 points at Stadium:MK and 13 away. They are without a win in their last five matches, and have just a solitary victory in their previous nine. They’ll also want to buck a trend they’ve set of late, losing 2-1 in their previous three matches, with Wolves, Fulham and Brighton the winning teams.
Robinson is likely to rotate his squad, although will have to do without Kyle McFadzean, Rob Hall and goalkeeper David Martin.
It is believed that there are many Rotherham players receiving treatment, who have remained unnamed, but Greg Halford and Lloyd Doyley are believed to be two of them.
FootballLeagueWorld writer Ryan Evans identifies THREE things to look out for in this important match at Stadium:MK…
1) Must win for MK Dons
The Dons sit six points behind Rotherham in the table, and occupy the last relegation spot. With six games to go, it would seem highly unlikely that they will survive should they fail to win this game.
Karl Robinson also has to prepare his team for five games against teams above his following this game, against Preston, Sheffield Wednesday, Brentford, Ipswich and Nottingham Forest.
This might be their best chance to begin a run that might see them eventually go on to beat the drop.
2) Matt Derbyshire to score again?
The ex-Nottingham Forest striker has had an interesting week to say the least. After being sent off for elbowing an opponent in the Yorkshire derby, he had his red card rescinded and played in Tuesday’s game against Bristol City, netting the opener.
Before those two games, he set up the goal in the 1-0 win over Ipswich and won man of the match, and also scored in the recent victories over Brentford and Sheffield Wednesday.
The Millers’ top scorer with seven goals, Derbyshire has been an important team player in what has been a sensational turn around of their season.
Can the 29-year-old star again and help Rotherham make the gap between themselves and the drop nine points?
3) MK Dons are prone to conceding a late goal
A very interesting stat in the build up to this game is that, during the last 15 minutes, MK Dons have conceded 16 goals, the most of any 15 minute period. That’s 29% of their total tally in a period of 16.7% of the game.
Coupled with the fact that Rotherham have scored 11 of their 47 goals in the last 15 minutes, again the highest of any 15 minute period, it leads to the conclusion that we could see the Millers sneaking a last-gasp winner.
Warnock’s men struck late against Leeds last weekend to snatch the points, and scored three in the last seven minutes to come back from 3-0 down to draw 3-3 with Derby County back in March.
At the other end of the spectrum, Moussa Dembele scored late on as Fulham beat Karl Robinson’s side 2-1, and were devastated when Sam Clucas equalised just two minutes after the Dons took the lead against Hull on 12th March.
Will the statistics tell the tale come Saturday at 5pm?
MK Dons and Rotherham fans… What are your predictions for the match? Can the Dons side topple the odds and win this crucial six-pointer? Will the Millers continue their amazing run? Let us know your thoughts, opinions and score predictions below!