MK Dons’ relegation was all but sealed after a 0-0 draw at 10-man Sheffield Wednesday left them nine points from safety with three games remaining.
The Dons’ Samir Carruthers saw his first-half shot blocked before Daniel Pudil struck the post for Wednesday.
Owls substitute Atdhe Nuhiu failed to convert numerous headed chances, before Ross Wallace was sent off for violent conduct with 10 minutes remaining.
The home side, who remain sixth, poured forward late on but to no avail.
Despite Wednesday’s inability to break the deadlock they managed to extend their lead over seventh-placed Cardiff City, who lost 2-1 at Brentford, to six points.
The Owls host Cardiff on 30 April but could already have a top-six place secured by then if results go in their favour on Saturday.
MK Dons are now winless in eight matches but were fortunate not to lose after Fernando Forestieri and Nuhiu spurned chances in a hectic second half.
Nottingham Forest, Fulham, Rotherham and Bristol City all sit nine points above the Dons, with three games remaining.