MK Dons visit Barnet’s new home, The Hive, on Saturday afternoon for their penultimate friendly of pre-season.
Karl Robinson’s side are unbeaten heading into this weekend’s fixture and the men from MK1 will be eager to keep that form going heading into the new Sky Bet League 1 campaign, which kicks-off a week on Saturday.
Their opponents, Edgar Davids’ Barnet, relegated from the Football League have won two of their three pre-season friendlies this summer, most recently seeing off Isthmian Premier Division outfit Hendon Town 4-1. The Blue Square Premier Bees’ only other high-profile fixture his summer was a clash with Ipswich Town, which finished 1-0 to the Championship side.
The Greater London based club, who released no less than 13 players following their relegation from the Football League on the final day of the last season, have been relatively quiet in terms of bringing in players this off season, although Davids has made two signings - defender Anthony Acheampong and former Dons winger Keanu Marsh-Brown both agreeing deals with the non-Leaguers.
If selected on Saturday, both Acheampong and Marsh-Brown will come up against two of the Dons’ summer signings, Lee Hodson and Jason Banton, after manager Robinson confirmed that he will name an unchanged side for the game.
For the third match in a row, Robinson will not make any changes to his starting XI, meaning both Hodson and Banton will continue at right-back and left-wing respectively. Alan Smith will also keep his place up-front along with David Martin in goal.
The bench is also expected to remain relatively the same with both Dean Bowditch (groin) and Jon Otsemobor (knee) ruled out once again. Striker Patrick Bamford, declared fit enough to be used as a substitute on Wednesday night, is expected to play a larger part as a replacement on the weekend.
Tickets are still on sale for this match, with the 2-4-1 offer still available until midnight tonight (Friday) for standing tickets and Noon on Saturday for seated tickets.. After that time supporters will only be able to collect the one ticket for the prices below.
Speaking ahead of the game, Robinson said: “We’re looking forward to it. Rayo was obviously a different type of challenge but it’s still the same amount of men playing the same game and that’s the mentality we need to have.
“Barnet are a good side and we’ve got to play the same way, stick to our philosophy and do the same things to get the win and it is about that, now, it’s about winning the game. We’ll be playing a certain way on Saturday which will have a different eagerness and tempo to it.
“We’ll play the same team. Jon (Otsemobor) is still out, Patrick will play 30 minutes and if he’s fit then he’ll be a selection for me next week and get some game time against Tottenham but it’s not hard to pick our team for the start of the season.
“Therefore, I’m looking for the the back four to get to know each other and the wide players to do their jobs a little bit more. We’ve just spent 40 minutes in the classroom talking about the problems against Rayo, the things we did wrong and the things we can do better. It’s great to be able to use a game in which we played so well, as a benchmark for what we want to do for the rest of the season.
“The boys are taking it all on really well and I couldn’t ask for a better group of players, who all want to be successful.”
For important match and ticket information ahead of the game,