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Thursday, September 23, 2010

Big Match Preview

Peterborough United vs. Milton Keynes Dons
Saturday September 25, 15:00, London Road

It's 3rd against 5th in League One this weekend as two of the early front runners - Peterborough United and Milton Keynes Dons - meet at London Road.

Both sides enter the game off the back of midweek League Cup defeats but, with three points again up for grabs, they'll be looking to resume normal service in the league.

Posh went down to a 3-1 home defeat to Championship side Swansea - their first loss in all competitions on home soil. Indeed, their home record is very impressive to date.

In League One, 12 goals have been registered in their three home matches to see off Bristol Rovers, Oldham, and leaders Huddersfield.

Gary Johnson's men were top of the table themselves heading into last weekend's fixtures but were held to a 2-2 draw at Exeter - typical of their inconsistent away form.

Relegated from the second tier last year, the Cambridgeshire outfit expect to be in the running to immediately reclaim their spot in the Championship at the end of the campaign.

Leading that charge, once again, are the dangerous attacking trio of Aaron McLean, Craig Mackail Smith, and George Boyd. With 17 goals between them already - 11 in the league - they are a handful for any defence.

Grant McCann, a summer signing from Scunthorpe, has also proven an astute capture for Posh. As well as a couple of goals to his name, his midfield creativity and threat from set plays are another weapon in United's arsenal.

Aged just 30, Dons boss Karl Robinson is in his first ever manager's job

It's difficult, therefore, not to see a game including a few goals. Particularly since opponents Milton Keynes have already leaked seven in their three away trips.

That's included losses at fellow top six sides Carlisle and Brighton, although the Buckinghamshire team did manage an opening day success at Walsall.

Home form is also the strength of Karl Robinson's men, with three wins being followed by last weekend's 1-1 draw against Rochdale at stadium:mk.

Robinson, the youngest manager in the Football League, also saw his charges go down 3-1 at Premier League Birmingham in the League Cup, and will be looking for an immediate response in their biggest test of the season.

Leading lights in the Dons team include experienced forwards Jermaine Easter and Lewis Guy, both with two goals to their name to date.

However, the pair have been usurped by home-grown talent Sam Baldock. With four goals already, the England U20 international has made an excellent start to the season.

There are many similarities between these two teams early on. Both are stronger at home than on the road, and both are better going forwards than they are at the back.

For those reasons, it's difficult to see past Peterborough continuing their fine home record with another win.

Nobes' Prediction: Peterborough United 2 Milton Keynes Dons 1

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