MK Dons will be looking to continue their strong start to the season this evening when they take on Grimsby Town at Stadium MK.
Paul Tisdale’s side are unbeaten to start the campaign, having taken seven points from their first three matches, and they boast a 100 percent record at Stadium MK having won their opening two home matches in all competitions. The Dons also haven’t conceded a goal in almost 320 minutes of football.
It is form they will be looking to continue this evening against a Mariners outfit who they last met on the big stage back in March 2007 - the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy final at Wembley. MK Dons won that Final 2-0 and a similar result tonight, while not resulting in a trophy, would still be well received by Tisdale & Co.
Kick-off is at 7.45pm.
Grimsby Town have picked up four points from their opening three Sky Bet League Two matches and are unbeaten in their last two league outings.
The Mariners responded to an opening-day loss at home to Forest Green Rovers by defeating Macclesfield Town 2-0 at The Moss Rose, despite playing half an hour with 10 men. They then drew 1-1 with county rivals Lincoln City at the weekend - a game they were unlucky not to win.
Their away form is impressive - Grimsby have won their last three away matches dating back to last season, scoring six goals without reply.
In terms of goal threats, Michael Jolley has seen four different players get on the scoresheet so far this season (Mitch Rose, Jordan Cook, Charles Vernam and Martyn Woolford) and bolstered his frontline last week with the acquisition of free agent striker Wes Thomas.
MK Dons saw their unbeaten run stretch to four games courtesy of a goalless draw at Crewe Alexandra.
They edged the contest in terms of quality of chances, with Kieran Agard hitting the post in the first half and Ryan Watson forcing a strong save out of the Crewe goalkeeper in the second.
The Dons were, though, forced to play the final seven minutes with 10 men due to Mathieu Baudry’s sending off and therefore settled for a point, which manager Paul Tisdale was happy to take back to Milton Keynes.
Grimsby held country rivals Lincoln City to a 1-1 draw at Blundell Park last Saturday afternoon.
The Mariners went ahead through Martyn Woolford, who stroked home a cross from Jordan Cook on 33 minutes. They then went close to doubling their lead after the break but Danny Collins saw a header cleared off the line.
However, Lincoln drew level with 19 minutes left to play - John Akinde scoring the from the penalty spot after being brought down by Collins.
Paul Tisdale: “Hopefully there’s nothing [injury-wise] from [Saturday]. We’ve got to keep the players going. Players will be tired but we’re into the season now so it’s important to be robust and your body needs to start coping with the demands. We need to keep players fit and focused - whether there’s one game a week or two.”
Michael Jolley: “I think it’ll be a really tough game. They’re unbeaten so far and they haven’t given much away to any of the teams that they’ve played - they’ve been a tough team to score a goal against, and they pose a threat like everybody does at this level
“It’s a huge one for us, but these are the kind of games you look forward to, and hopefully we can carry on performing like we did on Saturday.”
Speaking on Saturday, Paul Tisdale didn’t anticipate having any fresh injury concerns for tonight’s match but MK Dons will be without defender Mathieu Baudry who is suspended for three games following his red card at Crewe Alexandra.
In terms of injuries, Peter Pawlett [ankle] and Conor McGrandles [eye] remain sidelined longer-term with Osman Sow [knee], Brandon Thomas-Asante [ankle] and Sam Nombe [ankle] making progress but unlikely to be involved this week.
Grimsby have a suspension of their own to deal with tonight, as Mitch Rose serves the final game of his ban for a red card shown in their 2-0 win over Macclesfield Town.
Defender Danny Collins is out after having surgery on a broken arm while fellow defender Andrew Fox, midfielder Elliott Whitehouse and striker Harry Cardwell are also sidelined. Full-back Reece Hall-Johnson is a doubt but midfielder Harry Clifton is okay after coming through Saturday’s game unscathed despite carrying a knock.
Defender Luke Hendrie might make his Mariners debut after joining on loan from Shrewsbury Town but fellow new striker Wes Thomas is being brought along slowly.
EFL rookie Peter Wright will take charge of tonight’s affair, refereeing both Grimsby Town and MK Dons for the first time.
He has run the rule two matches this season, producing six yellow cards, all of which came in his appointment at the weekend - the Sky Bet League Two clash between Cheltenham Town and Carlisle United.
Wright’s assistant referees this evening are Ian Dudley and Craig Taylor while the fourth official is Mark Wilson.
MK Dons wins: 4
MK Dons wins at Stadium MK: 1
Last MK Dons win: 2-0, 30 Mar 2008 (Wembley Stadium)
Biggest MK Dons win: 3-1, 4 Nov 2006 (Blundell Park)
Draws at Stadium MK: N/A
Last draw: N/A
Grimsby wins: 1
Grimsby wins at Stadium MK: 0
Last Grimsby win: 2-1, 7 Apr 2007 (National Hockey Stadium)
Biggest Grimsby win: 2-1, 7 Apr 2007 (National Hockey Stadium)
5+ corners in each half: 15/8
MK Dons to win, BTTS, 12+ match corners and 50+ match booking points: 22/1
Over 3.5 goals and 7+ corners each team: 50/1
Over 4.5 goals, 15+ match corners and 70+ match booking points: 200/1
MK Dons clean sheet: 11/8
Paul Tisdale’s side haven’t conceded a single goal in their last three matches in all competitions
Tickets are priced from £22 adults, £17 over-65s and £7 under-18s while under-12s go FREE with a Young Dons members. Supporters can upgrade their seat to East Centre for just £5 more while an upgrade to clubRed is available for a £10 premium.
Don’t forget, with a Club Dons membership you can enjoy a £5 discount on 10 EFL matches during the 2018/19 season - Young Dons members are entitled to £1 off all 2018/19 EFL matches. Season Ticket holders can also bring a friend for FREE on one occasion during the campaign while Premier Members can do so twice.
To book tickets click HERE, visit the Box Office/cash-only ticket booths around Stadium MK or call 0333 200 5343. Tickets will be available to buy right up until kick-off.
Supporters in the UK and abroad can watch the match LIVE by purchasing a £10 Match Pass – click HERE to book!
iFollow MK Dons subscribers will have also live commentary of the game – click HERE to sign up for as little as £4.49 for a month.
Supporters can also stay in touch with the action via mkdons.com’s Match Centre, which can be accessed by visiting the home page from 6pm.
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 mkdons.com straight after the final whistle along with full reaction from Paul Tisdale and a player. Highlights will be available to view from midnight.
Elsewhere in Sky Bet League Two...
Cambridge United v Exeter City
Carlisle United v Port Vale
Colchester United v Crewe Alexandra
Crawley Town v Swindon Town
Forest Green Rovers v Stevenage
Lincoln City v Bury
Macclesfield Town v Cheltenham Town
Morecambe v Northampton Town
Newport County v Notts County
Tranmere Rovers v Mansfield Town
Yeovil Town v Oldham Athletic