He’s Magic, You Know…

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Sooty MagicKarl Robinson is magic, or so it seems. After his MK Dons side overcame Swindon Town recently, they hauled themselves to seventh and within six points of the playoffs – where they’re still to be found. And Karl says for him to have guided them there is “a magician’s trick“, before rambling on about budgets and being unable to bring new players in. Well, we’re sure GW could tell him a few truths about the difficulties of signing players.

Boro’ welcome a Dons side this weekend who have had a relatively decent run in the last 10 games, which includes five wins. That said, two of those victories were versus Oldham and another against Notts County – it depends how much you want to read into it. But it looks like a second successive season without making the playoffs unless one of the three teams above them completely mess it up on the home straight.

On the road against teams from the lower half, MK Dons do not have a completely good record. They’ve played a total of 11 times against sides from 12th or below, and have lost six of them. In the process, they’ve conceded 20 times and average just a point per game. Boro’s record at home against the top teams could also be improved. In eight games, we have won two, averaged a point per game – but conceded just eight.

And when it comes to picking the team, it’ll be interesting to see how Bira Dembele and Curtis Obeng fare without Jon Ashton with them. The skipper has been ruled out, so we imagine it’ll be Peter Hartley or Luke Jones joining them. The recently signed duo have not been on a losing Boro’ side yet, and will be hoping to stretch the club’s unbeaten run to seven and lift us out of the bottom four. Now wouldn’t that be magic, eh Karl?

 

Here’s What You Need To Know:

[expand title=”WE’VE MET BEFORE…”]

08 Oct 2013HJohnstone’s Point Trophy R22-1
28 Sep 2013ASky Bet League One1-4
27 Apr 2013Hnpower League One0-2
20 Oct 2012Anpower League One1-0
24 Jan 2012Hnpower League One4-2
27 Aug 2011Anpower League One0-1
16 Nov 2010AFA Cup R11-1
06 Nov 2010HFA Cup R10-0

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[expand title=”REFEREE WATCH”]
G-Wezzle may have had his disagreements with Dons counterpart Karl Robinson, but it’s nice to see that the League don’t believe a boxing referee is needed at this game. The man in charge will be Frederick Graham (or Fred… we still haven’t asked) and the name has an air of familiarity about it, it was Mr Graham who took charge of the Paint Pot Trophy game earlier this season. Now, there’s a good omen to be starting with…

In fact, it should be our third outing with him but our game at home to Crewe Alexandra was postponed if you can remember as far back as January. You know, rain etc.  But the wait has given him a chance to lower his yellow cards per game average… by a whole 0.9. So that’s a booking we’ve avoided this weekend. And we still have just one loss in all our games he’s officiated. Keep up the good work, Fred. Or Frederick. Keep it up…

• This season for Fred Graham:
Games: 26 — Yellow: 90 (3.46pg), Red: 2

• Our record under Fred Graham:
P12 W7 D4 L1 F19 A9 — Yellow: 13, Red: 0
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[expand title=”FIFA 14 VERDICT”]
Team:
Day; Obeng, Dembele, Hartley; Akins, Mousinho, Smith, Doughty, Freeman; Charles, Zoko

Ooooh the red mist nearly came down at BoroGuide HQ after this one finished. And it’s EA Sports who ticked our anger bone. With a makeshift 3-5-2 formation, Boro’ were on top for the entire first half. Luke Freeman scored another gem to give us an early advantage, but a second goal didn’t come. Jimmy Smith was somehow denied by last ditch defensive, while Darius slammed an effort against the crossbar. We deserved so much more.

The Dons mustered just one, wayward effort during the first half, but stole the momentum in the second half. Boro’ struggled to cope and Chris Day made two outstanding saves. But then came the moment of fury. It wasn’t the fact that it was a long ball over the top, or that we had a stupidly high line, but the Dons shouldn’t have been able to bring on Luke Chadwick. And it just had to be him to rifle in the equaliser with just nine to go. Bah.

FT: Stevenage 1-1 MK Dons
(Freeman 4′; Chadwick 81′)

 

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[expand title=”BOOKIE BASHING”]
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The record of both teams may suggest that a draw is the most likely outcome this weekend (11/5), but we’re going to have a look and see what we can do on the win options. In Boro’s six home wins this term, four of them have been by a two-goal margin (6-1). But it appears the Dons have favoured a one-goal margin in five of their nine away defeats (3-1). If we are picking scores, 2-0 or 2-1 (14s and 9s respectively) would be our selection(s).

If you’d rather, check out what the alternatives are offering…

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