Grimsby Town Predicted XI vs MK Dons – Opinion

Relegation-threatened Grimsby Town will look to extend their unbeaten run to five games as they welcome automatic-chasing MK Dons to Blundell Park, who are breathing down the necks of Wrexham following two consecutive victories.

The two sides held each other to a draw back in November during David Artell’s first match in charge of the Mariners, where Jack Payne rescued a point for the Dons after Rekeil Pyke put Grimsby ahead in the first half.

Mike Williamson’s side have won four of their last six and are two points adrift of third place whereas Grimsby find themselves at the opposite end of the table, five points clear of the bottom two but currently four matches unbeaten – drawing their last match against relegation rivals Sutton United.

Let’s take a look at the potential 11 David Artell could field tomorrow.

GK – Harvey Cartwright

The young Hull City loanee has established himself as The Mariners’ number one. Whilst coming under scrutiny at points of the season, Cartwright is currently in his best form in a Grimsby shirt, with two clean sheets in his last four and only two conceded in that same span. He put in an exceptional performance away at AFC Wimbledon last Tuesday to keep the game goalless.

RWB – Harry Clifton

With plenty of questions surrounding Clifton as his side have struggled, Artell seems to have figured out his best position on the right flank in his new 5-3-2 formation and his performances recently have justified the player starting four consecutive games on the right for his boyhood club. Therefore, he is expected to maintain this tomorrow night.

CB – Harvey Rodgers

The former-Accrington Stanley man is looking to have found his early season form following a turbulent season at Blundell Park. After a heavy 5-1 loss at the hands of Doncaster Rovers, Rodgers has hardly put a foot wrong in the Mariner’s four game unbeaten run. Therefore, he is another one expected to maintain his place in the starting line-up.

CB – Douglas Tharme

After joining in January, Tharme is looking to be an astute addition after being an integral part of improving Town’s defensive fortunes in recent weeks. Dominant, aggressive and assured in his defending, Tharme is a crucial part towards Grimsby’s survival credentials.

CB – Toby Mullarkey

Another player whose position has been in question this season. Mullarkey played a large portion of the season as a right-back in a back four but found himself heavily exposed as a forward-thinking defender. He has seemed a lot more settled in recent weeks since switching into the back three, benefitting his willingness to come forward from defence when necessary without finding himself overly exposed in doing so.

LWB – Denver Hume

Another of Artell’s defensive acquisitions, Hume possesses a lot of quality at this level which has shown in his performances as of recent. Growing with every game, the defender should be expected to complete a consistent back five.

CM – Kieran Green

Often hot and cold with his place in the side, Green was exceptional against Sutton and against an MK Dons side that are expected to keep a lot of the ball in tomorrow’s fixture. The combative, physical presence the midfielder provides could be a crucial asset towards Town’s chances tomorrow night.

CM – Curtis Thompson

Despite showing signs of fatigue in recent games, Thompson has been a welcome addition. An aggressive, tough-tackling midfielder, the 30-year-old would complete a combative midfield pivot with Green which could be the correct decision against a possession-heavy opposition of who Grimsby will be looking to unpick.

CM – Jamie Andrews

With the remainder of the season posing two games a week, Artell should be expected to exercise his midfield options. Andrews’ loan tenure with the Mariners has seen the West Bromwich Albion youngster display quality. However, concerns have been raised over his physical side of the game. Nonetheless, this should be another chance for the midfielder to fight for his place in the side with squad rotation required at this point of the season.

ST – Donovan Wilson

Another change from last week’s game,  Justin Obikwu and Donovan Wilson have been rotated between in recent weeks. Despite Justin putting in an excellent performance last weekend, Wilson has been a reliable option up-front for the Lincolnshire side. With six goals this season despite injury problems, he is another squad option Artell should be expected to use tomorrow.

ST – Danny Rose

Undroppable. The Mariners’ captain has lead by example this season, with relentless work-rate and 12 league goals in his first season with the club, Rose has been a real bright spark throughout an otherwise dismal season in North-East Lincolnshire. A captain and an integral asset in Grimsby’s survival chances.

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