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Preview: Local double-header

12 July 2013

MK Dons will play their first two friendlies on home-soil this weekend, when they take on both Newport Pagnell Town and Leighton Town on Saturday afternoon.

Karl Robinson’s side have spent the last two weeks in Dublin and arrive back in the UK unbeaten after their three overseas games. The Dons started things off by beating St. James’ Gate 2-0 on Monday before drawing 2-2 with UCD the following day. The tour of Ireland was then capped off with a 4-1 win over Birmingham City on Wednesday.

On Saturday, the Dons will split into two teams, with one half of the squad facing United Counties Premier Division side Newport Pagnell Town at 1.30pm at Willen Road while the other group will take on Leighton Town at 5.30pm at Bells Close.

Robinson, who will take charge of both teams, is looking forward to the challenge. He told MK Dons Player: “We’re coming home in buoyant mood, we’re fit and we’re very focused on the job in hand.

"We’re back home and we see our fans on Saturday. We’re looking forward that and then, afterwards, the real nitty, gritty business of serious team selection’s starts to happen.”

Robinson has confirmed that Argentine Santiago Aloi will feature this weekend, as he looks to make a decision on the trialist’s future at stadiummk. Aloi, 26, has been with the side for two weeks and played a part in all three of the Dublin-based friendlies, scoring one goal.

The Dons will also monitor duo Adam Chicksen and Patrick Bamford ahead of kick-off, with both players suffering from ankle knocks sustained in Ireland. Winger Dean Bowditch is out with a groin injury.

The preliminary starting XIs for both games are as follows. Both line-ups are subject to change:

Team to face Newport Pagnell Town at 1.30pm: McLoughlin; Otsemobor, Flanagan, Hickford, Lewington (c); Potter, Alli; Powell, Rasulo, Aloi; McLeod.

Team to face Leighton Town at 5.30pm: Martin; Baldock, Kay, Williams, Chicksen; Galloway, Gleeson (c); Chadwick, Smith, TBC; Bamford.

Tickets for both games are cash only and are only available on the gate. Tickets are priced as follows:

Newport Pagnell Town
Adults: £5
Concessions (Over-65s): £3
Children: £2

Leighton Town
Adults: £5
Concessions: £3
Under-16s: £1

Newport Pagnell Town address: Willen Road, Newport Pagnell, Buckinghamshire, MK16 0DF

Leighton Town address: Bells Close, Lake Street, Leighton Buzzard, Bedfordshire, LU7 1RX

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