mkdons.com details the storylines to follow in the build-up to MK Dons' Sky Bet League One clash with Northampton Town at Stadium MK...
Saturday’s clash will be the 10th meeting between the Dons and Northampton Town – two clubs whose grounds are separated by just 22 miles.
Although the Cobblers won the most recent match-up, it’s the men from MK1 who hold a pretty strong lead in terms of the overall head-to-head record having won six of the previous nine meetings, while also picking up an away draw in the only stalemate between the pair.
The derby has provided some intense and exciting games in the past, often with plenty of goals scored – in five of the last seven encounters, there have been at least three goals scored.
The Dons have enjoyed the greatest margin of victory – their 3-0 triumph in last season’s Emirates FA Cup replay at Stadium MK – and have outscored their local rivals 16-7 since the first meeting back in August 2008.
Will Saturday’s clash provide the same excitement as the preceding games and can the Dons extend their strong record over the Northamptonshire club?
Building the fortress
After not winning a home league match in the first four months of the season, the Dons finally got the monkey off their back in December by winning two of their three league fixtures at Stadium MK.
Those two successes over AFC Wimbledon and Swindon Town, along with the Emirates FA Cup triumph over Charlton Athletic, will have done wonders for the side’s confidence and provides them with a platform to build on in the second half of the season.
Now, it will be about building on that momentum and what better way to do that than by securing another home victory, especially against a local rival in front of what should be a bumper crowd!
Robbie Neilson spoke to the media on Tuesday and stressed the importance of remaining patient in his pursuit of the Club’s top transfer targets, hinting that signings might not be made before the weekend.
The Dons boss will, no doubt, provide a further update in his weekly press conference on Thursday morning, which fans will be able to watch in full on MK Dons PlayerHD later that afternoon.
Half-century for Walsh!
If available and selected, Joe Walsh will make his 50th appearance for MK Dons in Saturday’s game at Stadium MK.
The centre-back, who joined initially on loan in March 2015 before signing permanently that summer, has started 47 games in Dons colours with 39 of them coming in the league.
Walsh has established himself as a regular in the heart of defence during his time in Milton Keynes and is sure to receive a warm acknowledgement from supporters this weekend.
Another question to be answered which involves Walsh is who will partner him at the back against the Cobblers?
Paul Downing missed the Emirates FA Cup tie with Brighton & Hove Albion due to an injury which saw George Williams fill in and impress in his place.
With Downing back fit, Neilson has a decision to make having complimented the full-back on his performance in the centre.
Tickets for Saturday's clash with the Cobblers at Stadium MK are priced from £22 adults, £17 over-65s/under-21s and £7 under-18s, while under-12s go FREE with a Young Dons membership - discounts are also available for groups and members.
To book tickets click here, visit the Box Office/centre:mk kiosk or call 0333 200 5343.