Crawley vs MK Dons Prediction: Goals expected in League 2 play-off semi-final

 | 5th May | 

4 mins read

The League 2 play-off semi-finals take centre-stage on Bank Holiday Monday as Crawley host MK Dons at 15:00, live on Sky Sports, before Doncaster Rovers travel to Crewe. Our focus is on the clash between 4th and 7th, as MK look to show their class, while Crawley - who were the favourites to get relegated back in August - aim to continue their fairy tale season under talented gaffer Scott Lindsey.

Below I’ve tried to forecast how the first leg of this semi-final will pan out at the Broadfield Stadium, and so read on for my Crawley vs MK Dons prediction. 

Crawley vs MK Dons Betting Tips

  • BTTS and draw @ 16/5
  • Danilo Orsi and Alex Gilbey to score @ 13/2

Team News

Kellan Gordon and Harry Forster joined in with first team training again on Friday, meaning that Lindsey is in the strong position of having every single player fully-fit and available to him. Corey Addai is set to continue in goal, while Lindsey is set to deploy the 3-4-3 system that has served him well this term, with Danilo Orsi set to lead the line after finding the net again on the final day against Grimsby Town. 

For MK Dons, Mike Williamson will hope to have his players at the top of their game again, given they have known they will be partaking in these play-offs for several weeks. He will also play a 3-4-3 system and match up the opposition, with the likes of Alex Gilbey and Stephen Wearne given the responsibility of chance creation. 39-year-old club legend Dean Lewington will start on the bench, but his experienced head could be needed if MK are put under serious pressure. 

Match Odds

Both teams are priced at 6/4 to take the win in the first leg of this play-off semi-final, which shows just how even the bookies believe this clash to be. A draw is available at 3/1, BTTS is 4/9 and over 2.5 goals is priced at 1/2.

BTTS and draw @ 16/5

Betfred believe both teams have the same chance of winning this first leg, and I think they are right, which is why I believe backing the draw offers the best value. I don’t for one minute believe this will be a cagey affair, but the unique circumstances of the play-offs do make a draw more likely in my eyes. 

If the scores are level after 75 minutes, neither side is going to risk it all and throw everything forward in search of the win, with a second leg still to come. Crawley beat MK Dons 2-1 at home in the regular season, but that came way back in August, while MK won their home match 2-0, with the Red Devils down to ten men late on. Those two results prove there isn’t a whole lot to choose between the two sides, so I’m happy to split the difference here and back a draw. 

I also believe both teams will find the net, given their attacking ability. 63% of MK’s matches have ended BTTS while that figure is 61% for Crawley, which puts them both in the top half for this particular statistic. MK of late have been sensational in front of goal, scoring nine times in their final two league fixtures, while the 4-4 and 5-3 scorelines prove that they are also leaking goals. 

They’ve kept just one clean sheet in their last five, and although Crawley are slightly less spectacular, both teams have found the net in five of their last six fixtures. If I had to plump for a correct score I would go for 2-2 at 10/1, but I think the 16/5 on offer here is also fair. 

DrawandBTTSCrawleyMK

Danilo Orsi and Alex Gilbey to score @ 13/2

I really like both of these players, which is a good place to start. Orsi will start in the number nine role for the hosts, and he has now scored 19 goals for the club in League 2 this season. He was part of the Grimsby Town side that reached the FA Cup quarter-finals last term, but has now found a new home at Crawley after spending the majority of his career in non-league. It’s a fantastic story, and he’ll be hoping to get on the scoresheet against this leaky MK Dons backline. 

Meanwhile Alex Gilbey is a fine operator, and has found his goalscoring touch this season. Playing in one of the free roles behind the number nine, he has scored a couple in his last two games, taking his total for the season to 13. Usually captain when he is on the pitch in the absence of Lewington, he will relish this big occasion and should be able to find the net again. 

OrsiAndGilbeytoscore

Check out our other Football Betting Tips here. 

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