MK Dons make their long-awaited return to Stadium MK tonight to take on Ipswich Town in the first of two home pre-season friendlies this week.
Paul Tisdale will take charge of his first home game as MK Dons manager, three months on from the side’s last outing in Milton Keynes.
It will be a tough one for Tisdale & Co, going up against Sky Bet Championship opposition, but the meeting will provide a good test ahead of the start of the 2018/19 campaign, which begins in just under two weeks’ time.
Kick-off this evening is at 7.45pm.
Similarly to MK Dons, this evening’s fixture is Ipswich Town’s penultimate friendly of the summer and therefore the Tractor Boys will be looking to impress ahead of their Sky Bet Championship opener against Blackburn Rovers.
New boss Paul Hurst has overseen three friendlies so far this summer, winning two of them and losing the other. A strong Ipswich side were beaten 2-0 by Braintree Town in their first run-out of the campaign but they’ve followed that defeat up with 1-0 wins over Crawley Town and Barnet.
The Suffolk club’s squad includes a number of well-known faces, including former MK Dons defender Jordan Spence. Joe Garner, Martyn Waghorn, Trevoh Chalobah and Freddie Sears are among the other recognisable names.
Assistant Manager Matt Oakley told iFollow MK Dons last week that he and Tisdale would use these two home friendlies as a chance to form the starting XI that will face Oldham Athletic on opening day.
Whereas players were previously handed 45 minutes, expect the starters to remain on the field for at least an hour as they look to get prepared for the beginning of the season.
In terms of availability, Osman Sow, Chuks Aneke and Brandon Thomas-Asante remain sidelined while Joe Walsh and Lawson D’Ath both didn’t feature in Spain due to their management programmes - both players are aiming to return form long-term lay-offs.
Scott Duncan will take charge of tonight’s pre-season friendly at Stadium MK.
The experienced official refereed 38 matches last season, featuring mainly in the Sky Bet Championship. He produced a total of 113 yellow cards and eight red cards.
He oversaw MK Dons’ defeat to Blackburn Rovers back in August 2017 while last marshalled Ipswich in February - showing four yellow cards in their 1-0 win over Preston North End.
His assistant referees tonight are Akil Howson and Dan Robathan while the fourth official is Alex Rayment.
Matt Oakley: “Up until now we have kept it level and fair because we need to keep the squad going forwards and getting fit.
“The squad will start to whittle down and you’ll see it forming to the starting XI. Those players will start playing 60 to75 minutes and then towards a 90 in the second game, getting ready for our first game of the season.”
Paul Hurst: “The players are working hard, there’s no doubt about that and I can’t fault their attitudes, but it’s still a little bit of a hangover from what they’re used to.
“We’re trying to change a bit of mentality around the group, which again takes time. We want them to be a bit more positive in everything they do and at times they can look a little bit fearful, almost.”
MK Dons wins: 0
MK Dons wins at Stadium MK: N/A
Last MK Dons win:
Biggest MK Dons win: N/A
Draws at Stadium MK: 1
Last draw: 3-3, 14 Aug 2007 (Stadium MK)
Ipswich Town wins: 2
Ipswich Town wins at Stadium MK: 1
Last Ipswich Town win: 3-2, 30 Apr 2016 (Portman Road)
Biggest Ipswich Town win: 3-2, 30 Apr 2016 (Portman Road)
Tickets for tonight’s game are priced at £10 adults, £8 seniors and £3 under-18s while under-12s go FREE*. In clubRed, tickets are priced at £15 adults, £12 seniors, £5 under-18s and £2 under-12s.
Supporters can also buy a bundle deal which includes entry to both friendlies this week. This is priced at just £18 adults, £14 seniors and £5 under-18s while it’s FREE* for Under-12s. The bundle deal prices for clubRed are £25 adults, £20 seniors, £8 under-18s and £3 under-18s.
To book tickets click HERE, visit the Box Office at Stadium MK or call 0333 200 5343. Tickets will remain on sale right up until kick-off for both games.
Can’t make the game? iFollow MK Dons will have full, live commentary from Stadium MK with BBC Three Counties presenter Ollie Bayliss and MK Dons’ leading goalscorer Izale McLeod - click HERE to sign up for as little as £4.49 a month.
Supporters can also stay in touch with the action via the Match Centre, which can be accessed on mkdons.com 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 whistle, with highlights and a gallery to follow on Wednesday.