MK Dons v Port Vale - Sunday 14:15, Sky Sports 1
Few teams in the EFL can be happier with their start to the season than Port Vale. The Staffordshire club were favourites for the drop back in August, having ditched the steadying influence of Rob Page in favour of Bruno Ribeiro. The Portuguese has a far from glittering CV but his contacts book, which includes Jose Mourinho, was enough for chairman Norman Smurththwaite.
The prophecies of doom haven’t come to pass - yet. The Valiants are currently sixth, courtesy of five straight home wins, a sequence that was broken by managerless Coventry last weekend. However, the manner in which they were brushed aside by the rock-bottom Sky Blues raises serious doubts about their ability to sustain the high standards they’ve set up to this point.
Vale’s biggest strength this season has been their execution. They punish teams when on top but there have been 20-minute patches at various points when they’ve looked nervous and out of their depth, like a team on the verge of being found out. Indeed, a 44 per cent shot ratio suggests they belong near the bottom, scrapping away for survival until the very last day.
MK Dons might be just the opposition to cut through the enigma. Karl Robinson’s men aren’t quite doing themselves justice this term but they remain markedly superior to most teams at this level and tend to show it in flashes of total dominance rather than workmanlike consistency. Split a point between the MK Dons 3-0 and MK Dons 4-0 correct scores at 14/1 and 35/1 respectively.£10 Free Credit and a £500 Deposit Bonus