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It has been a difficult couple of months for Lincoln City, collecting only three points in their third tier encounters since October 30 as they find themselves hovering dangerously close to dropping into League Two.
After making some great strides in 2020-21, finishing in fifth with 77 points, Michael Appleton and his team have suffered a backslide in this campaign, winning only five of their 21 matches played to this point.
While times have been demanding of late for the club located in the East Midlands of England, there are some encouraging signs that this team could snap out of their current skid, fighting hard to draw Cheltenham 2-2 in their previous fixture.
Following that result, Appleton said that there is plenty of belief in this group, as his players created several dangerous opportunities versus the Robins, collecting a point for the first time since November 20.
They have been especially poor at home to this point of the campaign, having failed to win a league fixture in Lincolnshire since August 14 when they edged Fleetwood Town 2-1, and they have not scored a goal at Sincil Bank Stadium in three consecutive matches played in all competitions.
On the defensive side of things, Lincoln have had issues when it comes to preventing goals on their home turf, conceding at least once in every one of their League One games played this season at the venue known to fans as the “Sinny Bank”.
Teddy Bishop notched a pair of goals for his side in their draw with Cheltenham, his first two of this campaign, moving him into third on the team, one back of Lewis Fiorini for second, with the 19-year-old assisting on Bishop’s second goal scored in stoppage time.
Fiorini was one of the two new faces to the Lincoln City starting 11 from the team who started in their defeat versus Crewe Alexandra, as the man on loan from Manchester City replaced Freddie Draper in attack and Lewis Montsma was inserted on the defence instead of Adam Jackson.
TJ Eyoma missed their previous match through suspension after the 21-year-old was red-carded five minutes into the second half against the Railwaymen.
Hiram Boateng put The Dons ahead 11 minutes into their previous contest against Oxford, his third strike this season before Matt Taylor and Mark Sykes tallied for the U’s in the second half.
Scott Twine leads them in scoring with nine goals, which is tied for fifth in the league, although he has become more of a playmaker lately, setting up The Dons only goal scored by Tennai Watson versus Plymouth Argyle and feeding Matt O’Riley and Harry Darling in a 4-0 win against Morecambe.
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Twine was one of the three changes made by Manning in their previous match as the 22-year-old was replaced in attack by Boateng, Aden Baldwin started at the back instead of Darling and Troy Parrott played as a centre forward with Mohamed Eisa sitting out.
Lincoln City possible starting lineup:
Griffiths; Bramall, Montsma, Poole, Bishop; McGrandles, Sorensen, Nlundulu; Maguire, Adelakun, Fiorini
MK Dons possible starting lineup:
Fisher; Baldwin, O’Hora, Lewington; Watson, McEachran, Twine, Harvie; O’Riley, Eisa, Boateng