In what is arguably the game of the week in the fourth tier, MK Dons welcome Gillingham with both teams having ambitions of making the play-offs this season.
Milton Keynes come into this one after a huge 3-1 win over rivals AFC Wimbledon on Tuesday night, where they put the game to bed after just 25 minutes having been 3-0 up. As a result they carry some pretty strong momentum into their weekend clash with Gillingham and will be full of confidence.
Gillingham are no pushover, far from it, and are currently on a four-match unbeaten run. There are some questions to be raised about the strength of that form given they’ve beaten Accrington Stanley, Colchester and Sutton United as well as drawn with Forest Green during that spell. The latter three make up the current bottom three, and the Gills would only manage to score three goals during those games.
MK Dons represent a far harder task and Gillingham will have to be at their best in order to take all three points. However they may struggle to keep up with the hosts goalscoring wise, as the Gills have the worst record in the league in front of goal. Given that MK themselves have no problems in front of goal, they probably know that if they score multiple goals in this one, they should be able to take all three points.
Here are a handful of The Real EFL writer’s views on how the match will play out…
“This has all the hallmarks of a six-pointer and Gillingham can in fact go level with MK Dons with a win. They wouldn’t overtake them given their far inferior goal difference, but it would be yet another twist in the play-off chasing tale.
I think the real problem for Gillingham is brutally obvious, they genuinely do not score enough for a team fighting for the play-offs. Stephen Clemence’s side have scored multiple times in the league on just five occasions and although one of those was against MK Dons, they now face a team who have undergone a significant revival in the last couple of months.
It would be a surprise for MK to not score multiple and the ruthless nature in which they tore Wimbledon apart on Tuesday night may just be seen again here.
Speaking of the game on Tuesday night, I expect it to be the same scoreline, Gillingham will score one in my opinion, yet it will not be enough and Mike Williamson’s side will extend the gap to eighth.”
MK Dons 3-1 Gillingham
“Off the back of a comprehensive derby day victory in midweek, MK Dons will want to solidify their spot in the top six. However they may even be setting their sights higher than just the playoffs considering their form since Williamson took over. A game against eighth in the league could be the perfect opportunity to throw down that challenge.
Gillingham on the other hand have propelled themselves out of mid-table and back into the playoff fight after an impressive run following their loss on Boxing Day. It’s now imperative that Clemence’s men are able to keep this going if they have any hopes of promotion this season. Although, with MK playing the way they are, and the confidence they’ll get from the victory at home to AFC Wimbledon, I see them winning this one as well.”
Mk Dons 2-0 Gillingham
“On paper, this looks like a game that could be close. Two places separate these teams, and both will have expected a promotion challenge at the beginning of the season.
In reality, I think it might play out a bit differently. MK Dons are on fire, and whilst they have lost a couple of late, they were dominant in midweek and have been pretty ruthless at times. That’s in contrast to the Gills, who have been pretty toothless – they’ve dropped four points in a month to a truly awful Forest Green side, and they’re lacking a cutting edge.
This has MK Dons win written all over it. They have home advantage, and Gillingham might travel well, but they’ve only played away from Priestfield three times since November 25th. I suspect a little road-rustiness, especially in a soulless environment like Stadium MK, where it’s hard for the away fans (and the home support) to create any sort of atmosphere.”
MK Dons 2-0 Gillingham