Continuing with Preston North End’s looking at series, it’s the turn of Milton Keynes Dons.
Manager: Karl Robinson
Stadium: Stadium MK
Last season: 10th in League One
MK Dons manager Karl Robinson is expected to kick-off the 2014/15 League One campaign as the fifth longest serving manager in the football league - and he and Dons fans alike will be anxious to get the season under way having missed out on the top six last time out.
Keeping hold of young starlet Dele Alli before the season begins will be a tough task for the Dons, with plenty of Premier League teams snooping around for the 18-year-old.
With the departure of Dons’ record goal scorer Izale McLeod, Robinson has dipped into the transfer market to sign promising forward Tom Hitchcock from Queens Park Rangers on a three year deal.
In four starts, Hitchcock managed an impressive five goals during his loan spell with Rotherham at the back end of last season - as well as bagging three goals in six games at Crewe during his other temporary spell in the 2013/14 campaign.
Danny Green and Kyle McFadzean also join Hitchcock in signing for MK from Charlton and Crawley, in addition to having former North End loanee Jay McEveley on trial with Karl Robinson looking to build on his side’s solid mid-table finish last time out.
The Dons rarely fell out of the top half of the table last season, but consistency proved a stumbling block, as Karl Robinson’s side lost 20 of their 46 games last season.
On the two occasions Preston and MK Dons met last season, both games finished honours even – the first at Deepdale being remembered mostly for the 35 yard screamer from on loan Crystal Palace man Jason Banton to ensure Dons earned a point in a 1-1 draw, whilst a goalless draw was played out in the corresponding fixture at Stadium MK.
This season, Preston are not due to take on the Dons until December at Deepdale, with Simon Grayson’s charges making the trip to Buckinghamshire four months later.
The Milton Keynes outfit will start their seventh season in League One in August at home to Gillingham, and will be hoping to stake a claim for promotion, with Robinson looking to become the first Dons boss to take his side into the second tier of English football for the first time in their history.
To win the League: (outright) 16/1
To get promoted: 5/1
To be relegated: 11/1
(Odds subject to change)
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