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Match Previews

Preview: Northampton Town

9 January 2016

The Dons enter the Emirates FA Cup at the third-round stage for the first time in their history this afternoon.

Karl Robinson’s men skipped the first two steps of this season’s competition as a result of being a Sky Bet Championship and will therefore face local rivals Northampton Town with a place in the fourth round up for grabs.

The men from MK1 have only made it past the third round once before, when they beat Sheffield Wednesday in a replay to secure a meeting with Premier League Queens Park Rangers, who they would go on to upset 4-2 at Loftus Road.

Northampton go into today's tie having won nine of their last 10 games in all competitions and occupying second place in League 2.

Two of those nine wins came in the FA Cup to set up this weekend’s third-round tie. In their opening game of the competition the Cobblers beat League 1 side 2-1 Coventry City at the Ricoh Arena and they followed that up with a dramatic come-from-behind success at home to Northwich Victoria.

Chris Wilder’s men have netted 52 time this season, including 12 in their last five games. March Richards currently tops their scoring charts with 15 goals to his name while strike partner Sam Hoskins has found the net on seven occasions.

Karl Robinson: “We won’t be taking the game easy at all. There will be 100% effort going into the preparation. They’ve brought in some very good players who can cause a threat to anyone on any given day. They also have a very good manager who has turned the club’s fortunes around.”

Chris Wilder: “Technically they have got some very good players and collectively it’s a good team that we are up against. We know that we are going to have to play really well and all of our players are going to have to be at the top of their game but we are in good nick.”

The Dons will be without a pair of wingers, with both Daniel Powell (hamstring) and Carl Baker (ankle) sidelined through injury.

Boss Robinson will, though, have new signing Jake Forster-Caskey available after his return to the Club on loan until the end of the season, while defender Matt Upson is back in contention after recovering from a calf injury.

Also, with just three days until an important Championship clash with high-flying Burnley, the men from MK1 are expected to make changes – Robinson has already confirmed that David Martin, Dean Lewington and Darren Potter won’t be involved.

Northampton will be without new loan signing James Collins, who is cup-tied having played in the competition for parent club Shrewsbury Town earlier this season.

Midfielder Alfie Potter, however, is likely to play having shaken off a rib injury which kept him out of their game against Barnet.

Darren Drysdale will take charge of the this afternoon's tie, the first time he’s refereed a Dons fixture since August 2014 – the Dons’ 1-0 victory away at Chesterfield.

The Lincolnshire official has brandished 47 yellow cards in the 19 games he’s marshalled so far this season and sent off only one player. He has awarded two penalties.

Drysdale’s assistant referees are Nigel Lugg and Marvyn Amphlett while the fourth official is Neil Hair.

The Dons have lost just one of their last 17 FA Cup ties against lower-ranked opposition.

Dons wins: 5
Dons wins at Sixfields: 2
Last Dons win: 2-0, 3rd Sep 2013 (stadiummk)

Northampton wins: 1
Northampton wins at Sixfields: 1
Last Northampton win: 1-0, 4th Sep 2012 (Sixfields)

Draws: 0
Draws at Sixfields: 0
Last draw: N/A

Northampton to win the tie: 8/15
Northampton to win today’s match: 13/8
Draw: 23/10
Dons to win today’s match: 13/8
Dons to win the tie: 11/8

First goalscorer
Marc Richards: 5/1
Nicky Maynard: 6/1
Sam Hoskins: 13/2
Rob Hall: 8/1
John O’Toole: 8/1
Josh Murphy: 17/2

*All odds correct at the time of writing

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Fans can also stay in touch with the Dons via’s matchday blog, which can be accessed by visiting the home page from midday.

Those on Twitter can also follow every pass, tackle, shot and goal by following the Club’s official page - @MKDonsFC

A full match report will be available to view on straight after the final whistle.

Tickets for today's Emirates FA Cup tie with Northampton Town have SOLD OUT - no more tickets are available.

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