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Kick off 15:00 (UK)

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05 August 2017 Venue Stadium mk Attendance

Kick off 15:00 (UK)

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English Football League - League One

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Match Previews

Preview: Wigan Athletic

All you need to know ahead of today's opener at Stadium MK...

5 August 2017

MK Dons will look to make a winning start to the 2017/18 season when they take on Wigan Athletic todyain their Sky Bet League One opener.

Robbie Neilson, in his first full season as Dons boss, will have aspirations for his side to improve on their 12th-place finish from 2016/17 and challenge at the top end of the League One table – three points in the curtain-raiser would be the ideal way to kick-off that push.

A win this afternoon would also extend the Club’s excellent record on opening day – the men from MK1 are unbeaten in their league openers since the 2009/10 campaign, while their last three have resulted in wins.

It’s time to get excited, Dons fans. Football is back.

Kick-off is at 3pm.

After one year in the second tier, Wigan are back in Sky Bet League One this season but now under the guidance of Paul Cook, the Latics will have ambitions of making an immediate return to the Championship.

Cook has managed to keep hold of striker – and former Don - Will Grigg, who has scored 35 goals since moving to the DW Stadium in the of summer 2015. The Greater Manchester club have also bolstered their attacking options with the captures of Gavin Massey, Ivan Toney and Noel Hunt.

Wigan have also enjoyed a successful pre-season campaign on the pitch, remaining unbeaten in their summer friendlies. Their standout result came earlier this week when they thrashed non-league Chorley 14-0, but they also held Liverpool to a 1-1 draw back in early July.

Robbie Neilson: “It's a great challenge for us. They've come out of the Championship and retained a lot of their players and recruited well too.

“It's always exciting at the start of the season because everyone hopes they'll be at the top end of the table. The first four, five, six games of the season will start to give us an idea of that the table will look like and it's up to us to prove we're one of the top teams.”

Paul Cook: “We’re all very keen to get underway because there’s always a freshness about the start of the season for every club, not just for Wigan Athletic.

“We’re fully respectful of MK Dons because they’ve got a very strong squad and have recruited very well. I'm sure Robbie has had enough time now to have a good look at the league, and he’ll be fully aware of what we might bring too. I think it’ll be a very good game because it’ll be two teams who will try to play very good football."

Joe Walsh is suspended and Chuks Aneke sidelined but otherwise the Dons have a full squad available for today’s opener.

Walsh is sidelined for the next two matches due to the suspension he received at the end of last season for collecting 15 yellow cards. Aneke, meanwhile, continues to make good progress in his recovery from a hamstring injury.

Robbie Muirhead and Peter Pawlett, who have both been nursing knocks in recent weeks look set to be available to Neilson this weekend.

As for Wigan, a decision on former Don Will Grigg will be left until late but he did get a further 45 minutes under his belt in midweek. Elsewhere, reports suggest Reece James (foot) still needs more game time but Shaun MacDonald (leg break) will certainly miss the start of the campaign.

Kevin Johnson will take charge of this afternoon’s Stadium MK clash.

The official, who has been in the EFL since the 2014/15 campaign, refereed 30 matches last season, producing 100 yellow cards and four reds.

Johnson’s assistant referees are Wayne Grunnill and Garry Maskell while the fourth official is Mark Griffiths.

Dons wins: 0
Dons wins at Stadium MK: 0
Last Dons win: N/A
Biggest Dons win: N/A

Draws: 1
Draws at Stadium MK: 0
Last draw: 3-3, 4 Jan 2014 (DW Stadium)

Wigan wins: 1
Wigan wins at Stadium MK: 1
Last Wigan win: 3-1, 14 Jan 2014 (Stadium MK)
Biggest Wigan win: 3-1, 14 Jan 2014 (Stadium MK)

Dons win - 6/4
Draw - 11/5
Wigan win - 9/5

First goalscorer
Kieran Agard - 4/1
Ryan Seager - 13/2
Robbie Muirhead - 13/2
Gboly Ariyibi - 10/1
Aaron Tshibola - 18/1
No goalscorer - 15/2
Will Grigg - 11/2
Gavin Massey - 13/2
Nick Powell - 15/2
Ryan Colclough - 17/2
Kaiyne Woolery - 17/2

Ryan Seager to score first and MK Dons to win 2-1 - 40/1

Sign up for Sky Bet today and enjoy some fantastic offers – click here to register!

iFollow MK Dons will have live commentary of today’s match – click here to sign up for as little as £4.49 for a month or £45 for the season!

Supporters can also stay in touch with the Dons via’s Match Centre, which can be accessed by visiting the home page from 1.30pm.

There will also be full coverage on the Club’s social media channels – Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat!

A full match report will be available to view on straight after the final whistle.

Tickets for today's clash with Wigan are priced from £22 adults, £17 over-65s/under-21s* and £7 under-18s, while under-12s go FREE*. Club Dons members are entitled to a £2 discount on tickets and Young Dons can save £1 on the matchday ticket price. 

To book tickets click here, visit the Box Office or call 0333 200 5343. Tickets can also be bought from the cash-only booths around Stadium MK from 1pm.

*Ts&Cs apply

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Match Reports

Report: MK Dons 0-1 Wigan Athletic

The men from MK1 suffer reverse on first day...

5 August 2017

MK Dons fell to a narrow defeat at the hands of promotion favourites Wigan Athletic on the opening day of the 2017/18 season.

In a game which saw both sides finish with 10 men, the crucial goal came just after the half-hour mark when Nick Powell scored after the Latics had caught the Dons on the counter-attack.

Robbie Neilson included five of his summer signings in the starting XI, while the other three were among the substitutes.

Scott Wootton, making his first competitive appearance in almost a year, made a critical challenge in the opening three minutes as the visitors threatened.

The Dons hit back through a powerful run from Gboly Ariyibi, which probably should have resulted in a free-kick, before Ryan Seager tested Christian Walton from distance after a slick passing move.

Seager then turned provider with a clever pass to Kieran Agard, who cut in from the right and curled an effort just inches past the post.

At the other end, a sublime take from Michael Jacobs laid the foundations for a chance but Gavin Massey dragged his low drive wide of the target.

The game continued to ebb and flow with both sides delivering an entertaining opening-day fixture – the next chance fell to Ousseynou Cisse but he shot over from a tight angle 20 minutes in.

As the half-hour mark approached, Ariyibi got away down the left and earned a corner – from the resulting set-piece, Seager headed Ethan Ebanks-Landell’s knock-back just wide. One from the training field.

Lee Nicholls made his first save of the afternoon on 31 minutes, comfortably gathering Massey’s effort from 25 yards.

Shortly afterwards, Ariyibi fired a 25-yard free-kick into the wall but Wigan caught the men from MK1 on the counter on 38 minutes – Nick Powell finishing off the move with a calm finish.

However, Wigan were reduced to 10 men on 44 minutes when Callum Elder was shown a red card for a lunging challenge on George Williams – something the Dons would look to exploit in the second half.

Ariyibi was looking the most lively to create something and he latched on to an Aaron Tshibola pass before finding Seager, who shot just wide from a difficult angle on 53 minutes.

The Dons’ task was made far more difficult not long before the hour mark when Wootton was shown a red card after a foul on Jacobs – the referee deeming he was the last man despite having plenty of cover and the infringement taking place inside the semi-circle near the halfway line.

Nicholls ensured things didn’t get any worse a couple of minutes later when he superbly pushed away Ivan Toney’s header, which lifted the home crowd as the Dons looked for a way back into the game.  

Dons’ new No.1 was called into action again on 66 minutes, making another superb stop to deny Jacobs after the Latics had broken with pace and purpose.

Pete Pawlett was introduced as the Dons looked to try and find a way past a stubborn Wigan defence and he was bright, even almost connecting with an overhead kick from an Ariyibi cross.

Brandon Thomas-Asante and Robbie Muirhead also came on as Neilson tried to freshen up his side’s attack going into the final 10 minutes, however, it was Ariyibi again who flashed next as he beat his man and crossed, but it was cleared away.

Thomas-Asante was particularly bright after coming in but the Dons were still finding it tough to deliver any clear-cut chances as the game ticked into the final stages.

That remained the case and Wigan left Stadium MK with all three points – the Dons will be looking to bounce back in Sky Bet League One at Blackpool next weekend.

Starting XI: Nicholls; Williams, Wootton, Ebanks-Landell, Lewington (c); Tshibola, Upson (Muirhead 80), Cisse; Agard (Thomas-Asante 80), Seager (Pawlett 63), Ariyibi.

Unused subs: Sietsma, Brittain, Downing, McGrandles.

Bookings: Williams, Seager, Muirhead.

Sent-off: Wootton.

Attendance: 9,164 (1,303 Wigan Athletic fans).

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