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Preview: MK Dons vs. Wycombe Wanderers - prediction, team news, lineups

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MK Dons play host to Wycombe Wanderers in the second leg of their League One playoff semi-final needing to overturn a 2-0 deficit to reach the final later this month.

Wycombe were deserved victors on Thursday evening, scoring a goal in each half, and they now look on track to earn an immediate return to the Championship.

MK Dons welcome Wycombe Wanderers to the Stadium MK this evening in the second leg of the League One play-off semi-finals, with the Chairboys carrying over a two-goal advantage from Thursday night’s victory.

When the playoffs come round every season, there is an argument that momentum is everything, and that proved to be the case when these two teams met at Adams Park earlier this week.

Six points separated the clubs at the end of the regular campaign, MK Dons missing out on automatic promotion by just a point, but it was Wycombe who have seized control of this tie.

The Chairboys, who are now unbeaten in 13 matches, posted a 2-0 win through goals from Ryan Tafazolli and Sam Vokes, both players netting well-executed headers to move to the brink of Wembley.

At a time when Gareth Ainsworth is being heavily linked with the soon-to-be vacant Blackburn Rovers job, the Wycombe boss will be urging caution, but it is difficult to deny that his team are now clear favourites to reach the final.

However, they do not have good memories of playing MK Dons on away territory this campaign, a 1-0 league defeat in September being followed by a 2-1 reverse in the EFL Trophy 10 days later.

That is not necessarily much for Liam Manning to be encouraged about given that the double-header came early in the season, but there are few other positives to take into this contest.

Although MK Dons will take confidence from their 5-0 victory at Plymouth Argyle on the final day of the season, they have now lost three of their last six fixtures.

Their form began to drop off once second place became a possibility, arguably a sign that this young group of players are lacking the big-game experience to get over the line at this stage of their development.

Nevertheless, headed by the 33 goal contributions of Scott Twine, they have the firepower to turn things around with the next goal in this tie having the potential to prove decisive.

Gareth Ainsworth’s side, who dominated the first leg, will be looking to frustrate Liam Manning’s team to secure a second visit to Wembley in relatively quick succession, following their promotion to the Championship via the play-offs during the 2019/20 campaign.

Narrowly missing out on automatic promotion, the Dons will be hoping to book their place at Wembley but know they will have to be on top form.

The relentlessness and physicality shown by Ainsworth’s side in the first leg stumbled MK Dons at Adams Park, with Manning’s side looking to cause havoc with the ball on home soil.

With a place at Wembley at stake, it is set to be an entertaining clash at MK Dons’ Buckinghamshire home, with the Chairboys making the short trip.

Team News

MK Dons will have to make do without Josh McEachran after the midfielder was dismissed for two yellow cards on Thursday.

While Hiram Boateng is the most obvious replacement, Manning may consider introducing Connor Wickham to form a front three.

Wolverhampton Wanderers loanee Theo Corbeanu is also in contention for a recall at wing-back or in the final third.

Given the level of the performance in the first leg, Ainsworth may look to name the same Wycombe XI.

That would see defender Chris Forino and midfielder Lewis Wing remain among the replacements.

MK Dons possible starting lineup:

Cumming; O'Hora, Darling, Lewington; Hayden, Coventry, Kasumu, Harvie; Boateng; Parrott, Twine

Wycombe Wanderers possible starting lineup:

Stockdale; McCarthy, Stewart, Tafazolli, Jacobson; Gape, Scowen; McCleary, Horgan, Obita; Vokes

We say: MK Dons 2-1 Wycombe (Wycombe to win 3-2 on aggregate)

Such is the length of Wycombe's unbeaten streak that it is difficult to back against the visitors qualifying for the final. While we feel that an MK Dons onslaught may lead to them winning on the night, Wycombe should still do enough to book their place at Wembley. tttt


[[LIVESTREAM]] EFL League One play-offs Live Free Online 08 May 2022

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