It’s a vital home game for the Valiants as they aim to end their relegation fears with a win over promotion seeking Milton Keynes.
Manager: Rob Page
Last match: 0-1 vs Rochdale
Form guide: L-L-L-L-L
Manager: Karl Robinson
Last match: 2-0 vs Scunthorpe
Form guide: W-W-W-W-D
Michael O’Connor: set for first-team return
Port Vale will welcome back key midfielder Michael O’Connor who was controversially rested for the defeat against Rochdale. It will be interesting to see who partners him but veteran Michael Brown is probably favourite. Loanee Neil Collins is regaining fitness and he could partner Richard Duffy in yet another newlook central defensive partnership. Rob Page could again favour Ben Williamson over Tom Pope who has recently admitted that he’s not 100% fit.
Milton Keynes will be missing Carl Baker who impressed in the last meeting between the two sides.
Possible Vale starting XI:
Veseli – Duffy – Collins – Dickinson
Marshall – O’Connor – Brown – Birchall
“These are three big games for us now…”
– Rob Page
Last time we met
Midfielder Chris Lines was controversially sent-off as the Valiants lost 1-0 at stadium: mk. The two sides also met in the FA Cup at Vale Park where Milton Keynes again triumphed, this time 4-3. However, when the sides last met in a league clash in Burslem it was Vale who were victorious – winning 1-0 through a Jordan Hugill strike.
- Vale wins: 3
- Milton Keynes wins: 3
- Draws: 2
Despite their poor record against Milton Keynes, the Vale are yet to lose a league home game against Milton Keynes. The previous three encounters have ended 3-2, 3-1 and 1-0 respectively.
This game could be another entertaining affair. Of the seven games between the sides, only one (the game at Vale Park in 2005) has finished goalless.
Steve Brooker (pictured right) scored the Vale’s first goal against Milton Keynes in 2004’s 3-2 win.
Should they start, up to four loan players could make their Vale Park full debuts. The quartet are Neill Collins, Tommy O’Sullivan and (less likely due to injuries) Mohamed Coulibaly and Junior.
They played for both…
Chris Lines: had a spell on loan with Milton Keynes
Vale’s midfielder Chris Lines (currently on loan with Bristol Rovers) spent a spell on loan with the opposition back in 2013. He played 18 games and is still highly regarded by the Milton Keynes supporters. Other players to appear for both sides include:
- Midfielder Jay O’Shea
- Winger Jemal Johnson
- Winger Dominic Blizzard
- Midfielder Malvin Kamara