In a completely unforeseen series of events, Phil Parkinson’s Sunderland are now good.
They head to Milton Keynes, knowing that a win could feasibly put themselves three points off the top of League One with a game in hand. The Lads are on a six-game unbeaten streak and have hit seven goals in their last two outings.
A win in the world’s weirdest town on Saturday and talk of automatic promotion may, unfathomably, be back on the agenda.
I am very pleased with our last game. It was an excellent win for us and we are looking to build on it down at MK Dons at the weekend. We were delighted with the way we attacked and some of our forward play was very good.
We are back in the mix. Our aim going into the Christmas period was to do that and we have achieved it. We have given ourselves a platform to build on between now and the end of the season.
New signing Kyle Lafferty will be included in the travelling squad. The Northern Ireland forward has arrived on a short-term deal and provides Parkinson with extra striking options.
The manager confirmed that Tom Flanagan has shaken off a knock that forced him off at half-time in the win over Wycombe last week.
View From The Opposition
After a thoroughly rancid run of form put paid to Paul Tisdale, MK Dons enjoyed a slight upturn in form over the festive period. Not Wimbledon vanquished Portsmouth and Bristol Rovers in consecutive home games, before securing a credible 1-1 draw away at Coventry.
Following defeat to Burton Albion during the week, Not Wimbledon bolstered their ranks with the signing of midfielder Louis Thompson on loan from Norwich City. Thompson is their third new recruit of the January window following Carlton Morris and Ben Gladwin arriving earlier in the month.
Not Wimbledon are currently hovering precariously over the relegation spot in 19th, just a point clear of Actual Wimbledon, and three points off the drop zone.
Venue: Stadium MK, Bletchley
Referee: Ben Toner
Current position: 19th
Last season position: 3rd (League Two)
Last 5 results:
(L1) Wycombe Wanderers (H) 4-0
(L1) Lincoln City (H) 3-1
(L1) Fleetwood Town (A) 1-1
(L1) Doncaster Rovers (A) 2-1
(L1) Bolton Wanderers (H) 0-0
(L1) Burton Albion (A) 0-1
(L1) Coventry City (A) 1-1
(LT) Newport County (A) 0-3
(L1) Bristol Rovers (H) 3-0
(L1) Portsmouth (H) 3-1
The Lads at Milton Keynes
25 Sep 2012 (LC) MK Dons 0-2 Sunderland (Gardner, McClean)
Top goalscorers (in all competitions)
6 - Rhys Healey
4 - Alex Gilbey
3 - Joe Mason
3 - Sam Nombe
2 - Kieran Agard
Last Time We Met
Ah, the heady days of 2012. The country was high off the fumes of hosting the Olympic Games, that they’d completely forgotten about Tory austerity in the years to come, no-one had ever heard of Brexit and Sunderland headed to Milton Keynes as resurgent Premier League big dawgs.
A side featuring legends such as Craig Gardner, Matt Kilgallon and Louis Saha swept aside the franchise jobbers in this red hot Capital One Cup tie.
A young Dele Ali watched on from the MK bench as strikes from Gardner and James McClean helped see off the made-up team, even if Lee Cattermole entered peak Lee Cattermole circa 2012 mode, and was sent off after half an hour.