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Notts County V Milton Keynes Dons at Meadow Lane : Match Preview

30 Dec 2012 15:31:29

Notts County V Milton Keynes Dons at Meadow Lane : Match Preview

Notts County V Milton Keynes Dons - view commentary, squad, and statistics of the game live.


Stewart still suspended for County

Damion Stewart remains suspended for Notts County as they prepare to host promotion rivals MK Dons.

Stewart would have completed his three-match ban for the red card he received during the FA Cup second-round replay defeat to Rotherham on December 18 had the Magpies' league fixtures against Leyton Orient and Stevenage over the Christmas period not been postponed.

As it is, the defender will serve only the second game of his suspension.

Saturday's postponement against Stevenage might have given fellow centre-half Dean Leacock the time he needed to fully recover from the hamstring injury that has kept him out recently.

Krystian Pearce has not featured for the Magpies since returning from a loan spell at Barnet this month but he is an option for manager Keith Curle should Leacock remain unavailable.

Dons boss Karl Robinson will select from the same depleted squad.

With Stephen Gleeson (broken foot) and Luke Chadwick (knee ligament damage) out for several weeks, Robinson handed 16-year-old Dele Ali his first league start in the centre of midfield against Coventry.

Gary MacKenzie was also named on the bench on Saturday despite the defender not being fully fit after over three months out with a hip injury.

Following the 3-2 home defeat to the Sky Blues, Robinson said: "It's hard when you've only got players who haven't played a lot this season.

"I saw Gary MacKenzie clap the fans and get a standing ovation, but he's about two or three weeks away from a return at the moment. I had to name him because I couldn't fill the bench.

"When you lose players like him and Stephen Gleeson and Luke Chadwick, we're going to be depleted. At this level, it's so hard to replace them."

Jabo Ibehre has returned to the Dons following his loan spell at npower League One rivals Colchester and the striker will provide Robinson with another option.

Defender Mathias Doumbe, forward Angelo Balanta, both of whom were dropped against Coventry in favour of Alan Smith and teenager Ali following the surprise home defeat to Walsall on Boxing Day, strikers Charlie MacDonald and Ibra Sekajja and 19-year-old midfielder Zeli Ismail are also alternatives for Robinson, who is closing in on a loan deal for Brighton midfielder Ryan Harley.


PA

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