After three long months, MK Dons finally return to competitive action later today when they take on Shrewsbury Town at Greenhous Meadow.
The men from MK1 have won their last two opening-day fixtures, enjoying a 4-2 success over Gillingham at the start of the 2014/15 season before thrashing Rotherham United 4-1 in their Championship bow last year.
Robinson’s squad has changed tenfold since that memorable win in Yorkshire, but the Liverpudlian will be hoping his new crop will have enough to earn a similar result and extend that opening-day run to three seasons.
Kick-off is at 3pm.
Shrewsbury avoided relegation from League One by the skin of their teeth last season, so will be hoping to respond in 2016/17 and establish a position higher up in the table.
Over the summer, boss Micky Mellon has done a good job of revamping his squad, bringing in no less than nine new players including defenders Adam El-Abd and Olly Lancashire, as well as midfielders Antoni Sarcevic and Jim O’Brien.
Strikers AJ Leitch-Smith and Louis Dodds have also arrived at Greenhous Meadow this transfer window, both of whom have found the net during pre-season – a pre-season campaign which saw Salop defeat Championship outfit Birmingham City 1-0.
Karl Robinson: “There are always those managers who don’t get the credit they deserve for the success they have in the lower divisions and Micky is certainly one of those – what he did at Fleetwood was remarkable.
Micky Mellor: “You would imagine that MK (Dons) are going to be in that top bracket. They’re certainly going to be up there. The ambition there will be to try and be at the top end.
“We went there three years ago, first game of the season, and got a point. Right now, people would probably accept a point as a good result given where we sit at the moment but we’ve have to go there, conduct ourselves in the right manner and try to get three points.”
“I’ve watched a number of their pre-season games. They’ve got some good strikers, who have got a record of scoring goals at this level. They’ve got a very solid, well-drilled back four that can play. There has been a real style change since the last time we’ve played against a Shrewsbury team.
Last Dons win: 3-2, 11 Jan 2014 (Stadium MK)
Dons wins at Greenhous Meadow: 0
Dons wins: 3
HEAD TO HEAD
His two assistant referees will be Ronald Ganfield and Danny Gratton, while the fourth official is James Wilson.
Last season, the Wiltshire official produced 80 yellow cards and sent off four players in 31 matches.
Brendan Malone will take charge of today's opener, refereeing the Dons for the first time since August 2012 – that evening , Malone showed Alan Smith a straight red card, as well as booking three other players.
Goalkeeper Lee Nicholls, brought in on a free transfer this week, is expected to back Martin up, while fellow summer signings Ed Upson, Paul Downing, George B Williams and Scott Wootton are all in line to make their debuts. George C Williams, back for a third spell, could also be involved.
New recruit Chuks Aneke is also unavailable as he recovers from a knee injury but in more positive news, David Martin is back from a recent illness and should start in goal.
The Dons are expected to be without Dean Bowditch, Daniel Powell and Ben Reeves for the League One opener, with all three players struggling with injuries sustained in pre-season.
“They’ve got good players, players who have had a season in the Championship, been together for a while now, and had a lot of seasons in League One. We’re coming up against a team that has done that in recent years, so the challenge is there for us to try and overcome them and see where we’re at and get a measurement against them.”
“I’ve known Karl for many years now and we know the way that he likes his teams to play. If you were going to play against MK Dons you would know that you’re probably going to get a game of football that’s going to be passed through the thirds and a lot of movement and they will roll the dice a little bit against you, because they’re a very attacking side.
Last draw: 0-0, 3 Aug 2013 (Greenhous Meadow)
Draws at Greenhous Meadow: 3
Last Shrewsbury win: 3-2, 12 Mar 2013 (Stadium MK)
Shrewsbury wins at Greenhous Meadow: 0
Shrewsbury wins: 3
Bradford City v Port Vale, 3pm
Bolton Wanderers v Sheffield United, 3pm
ELSEWHERE IN LEAGUE ONE
for more betting options for today’s Sky Bet League One clash - don't forget the Dons benefit every time you win with Sky Bet! here Click
*All odds correct at the time of writing
Samir Carruthers: 13/2
George C Williams: 4/1
Daniel Powell: 9/2
Nicky Maynard: 3/1
First Dons goalscorer
Shrewsbury win: 7/4
Dons win: 6/4
SKY BET ODDS 3pm
Millwall v Oldham Athletic,3pm
Northampton Town v Fleetwood Town,3pm
Oxford United v Chesterfield,3pm
Rochdale v Peterborough United,3pm
Scunthorpe United v Bristol Rovers,3pm
Southend United v Gillingham,3pm
Swindon Town v Coventry City,3pm
Walsall v AFC Wimbledon,3pm
A full match report will be available to view on mkdons.com straight after the final whistle.
! Snapchat and Instagram, Facebook, Twitter There will also be full coverage on the Club’s social media channels –
Fans can also stay in touch with the Dons via mkdons.com’s matchday blog, which can be accessed by visiting the home page from midday on Saturday.
to sign up for as little as £4.49 a month! here Tune in to MK Dons PlayerHD from 2.55pm for live commentary – click
Tickets for today's clash can be bought at Greenhous Meadow, priced at £20 adults and £15 over-65s/young adults, £8 12-18 year-olds and £6 8-11 year-olds, while under-8s go FREE.