MK Dons v Coventry preview

Team news ahead of the League One clash between MK Dons and Coventry at stadium:mk.

Last Updated: 28/12/12 at 13:39

Stephen Gleeson: Ruled out for MK Dons

Stephen Gleeson: Ruled out for MK Dons

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Manager Karl Robinson will make changes after MK Dons lost ground in the promotion race with a surprise home defeat to struggling Walsall on Boxing Day.

Robinson described his side's defending as "shambolic" as the Saddlers recorded their first away victory for three months at stadium:mk, winning 4-2.

He said that Mathias Doumbe, Antony Kay, captain Dean Lewington and Adam Chicksen would not play together in defence again. But with Gary MacKenzie (hip) still out, Robinson does not have many options available.

Midfielders Stephen Gleeson (broken foot) and Luke Chadwick (knee ligament damage) are also out for several weeks, while on-loan Chelsea striker Patrick Bamford looks set to rejoin them on the sidelines.

Bamford returned from a hamstring injury as a half-time substitute against Walsall but a tackle by Saddlers skipper Andy Butler saw the teenager doubled-up in agony on the pitch, forcing him down the tunnel before the end of the game.

Robinson said: "I thought the tackle on him was bordering on assault. He kicked him, didn't hit him then lashed out again. It looked like he tried to do him, tried to hurt him. I like firm, in-your-face tackles, but not when someone goes to hurt someone.

"To lose Patrick is a big thing for us. But when you add him to Gary MacKenzie, Stephen Gleeson and Luke Chadwick, we're going to be depleted. At this level, it's so hard to replace them."

Charlie MacDonald and Alan Smith were joined on the bench against Walsall by 16-year-old Dele Ali, 19-year-old Zeli Ismail and Ibra Sekajja, 20, and Robinson may have to include more youngsters among his substitutes on Saturday against Coventry, who are unbeaten in nine matches in all competitions.

Coventry will be without leading scorer David McGoldrick for the penultimate game of his loan spell.

The striker, who has bagged 17 goals in 24 games since arriving from Nottingham Forest, picked up his fifth booking of the season having removed his shirt while celebrating his strike in the 3-1 win at Stevenage on Boxing Day and now serves an automatic one-match ban.

McGoldrick is due to return to the City Ground after the home clash against Shrewsbury on New Year's Day, although Coventry are desperately trying to negotiate a deal for an extended stay, which appears unlikely at this stage.

On-loan midfielder James Bailey has already returned to parent club Derby, with the Boxing Day success at Broadhall Way his final match of a three-month loan. Sky Blues manager Mark Robins will also be trying to keep hold of his services on a longer deal when the January window opens.

Robins is not expected to have any new injury concerns for the trip to stadiummk.

Striker Leon Clarke joined Coventry on trial on Monday with a view to a permanent move next month but he has not yet signed and is therefore unavailable.

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