Port Vale will travel to the Stadium MK to take on MK Dons this afternoon as they aim to kickstart a run in this year’s FA Cup. After picking up a 1-0 win away at Crewe Alexandra last Saturday, the Valiants will be hoping they can make it two wins on the bounce. You can find all of the key information regarding the game, below.
Fixture: MK Dons vs Port Vale
Competition: Emirates FA Cup
Date: Saturday 9th November 2019
Kick-Off: 3:00 pm
Venue: Stadium MK
Referee: Craig Hicks
Manager: John Askey
Top Goal Scorer: Richie Bennett (5 goals in all competitions)
The Vale go into the game with good form having won their last two away fixtures, against table topping sides Bradford City and Crewe Alexandra, their best away run in over two years.
The Valiants will be hoping to transition their league form, which sees them sit just two points off of the Play-Off positions, into the cup game against a side in the league above and start off a cup run.
Tom Pope is a doubt for the fixture after missing out training this week due to illness, whilst Manny Oyeleke and Adam Crookes are both still sidelined with injuries. In positive news for the gaffer, Tom Conlon was able to return to training this week after recovering from his knee I jury sustained earlier in the season, meaning he could be in contention to re-join the match day squad by next week. Cristian Montano left the pitch against Crewe as a precaution due to his hamstring but has trained all week and will be available for John Askey.
“It’s always special when you play in the FA Cup, you always get that feeling and you’re a little bit more relaxed when you go out and play because it’s a cup competition and with all the competitions, there’s nothing like the FA Cup.”
John Askey, Port Vale Manager
Manager: Russell Martin
Top Goal Scoere(s): Rhys Healey (3 goals)
A poor start to the season has left The Dons third from bottom in League One and in danger of relegation, resulting in the sacking of their manager Paul Tisdale last week after they suffered eight losses from their last nine games.
Russell Martin, who featured 29 times for Scotland and played over 580 games in his career, arrived at the Stadium MK in January and has now announced his retirement in. order to take up the challenge of becoming The Dons’ manager and will hope to start off with a win today.
Summer signings Joe Mason and Ben Reeves will both miss the fixture as they remain sidelined with long term injuries. They were joined on the injury list by The Dons’ top scorer for the season Rhys Healey, who suffered a thigh injury and will miss today’s clash as a result.
One to watch: Alex Gilbey
Alex Gilbey is a midfielder who began his career in 2012 with Colchester United, where he would feature 110 times for the club, becoming a key part of the side and was part of the side that won promotion from the Conference in 2013.
In 2016 he earnt a move to Wigan Athletic and made 20 appearances in that season’s EFL Championship campaign before joining MK Dons the following season.
Since arriving at the Stadium MK, Gilbey has become a central part of The Dons team and has appeared over 70 times for the side.
Last season he was a key player in MK Dons’ Sky Bet League Two promotion campaign and has continued to perform this season.
John Askey: “We’re confident but we’re not getting too ahead of ourselves and carried away, we know we’ve got to work hard whoever we play and it’s on the day, especially in the cup.”
Russell Martin: “We've watched a lot of [Port Vale] this week, but my main focus has been on us. We're aware of what they can do, and they were a good side here last season, but this week is about us and what we can do.”
iFollow The Vale will be providing full 90-minute commentary from the match, whilst the Port Vale Twitter and Facebook feeds will be providing live updates for the entirety.
There will also be the build-up to the game with the official Snapchat and Instagram accounts: officialpvfc
Reaction will be available on the official website post-match, as well as on YouTube, iFollow and social media.