MK Dons and AFC Wimbledon set for first league meeting
MK Dons and AFC Wimbledon will clash in the league for the first time on Saturday.
AFC Wimbledon were formed by Wimbledon supporters in 2002 after the original club were allowed to relocate to Buckinghamshire, and were later renamed MK Dons.
The new club started life in the Combined Counties League and have since climbed six tiers, earning promotion to League One via the play-offs at Wembley last season. Their relocated rivals are back in the same division where they began their first full season in Milton Keynes following a year in the Championship.
AFC Wimbledon reached another historic milestone in their short history in October when they climbed above the Milton Keynes club in the football pyramid for the first time - just 14 years after their formation.
Neal Ardley's side head to Stadium:mk seventh in League One while MK Dons, who will have new manager Robbie Neilson in charge for his first league match, currently languish in 19th place in the table, just two points above the relegation zone.
MK Dons midfielder Samir Carruthers will miss the game through suspension. He was sent off at Yeovil in midweek as Neilson's first match in charge ended in defeat and elimination from the Checkatrade Trophy. Carruthers will serve a one-match ban.
Neilson made nine changes at Huish Park from the side that drew 0-0 with Charlton in the league and wholesale changes are expected once more on Saturday, with the likes of David Martin, Dean Lewington, George Baldock, Darren Potter, Ed Upson, Ben Reeves and Kieran Agard all likely to be restored to the starting line up.
The fit again Chuks Aneke was handed his first start since signing for the club in the summer against Yeovil and he should be involved again but fellow striker Nicky Maynard (hamstring) remains sidelined.
AFC Wimbledon boss Ardley has no fresh injury concerns. He also made nine alterations for the Checkatrade Trophy as his side slipped to a 2-1 defeat to Brighton in midweek and he is expected to once again make a raft of changes.
Tyrone Barnett started and scored in Tuesday's loss but will be hopeful of retaining his place after coming off the bench to score in the FA Cup second round comeback win over Curzon Ashton last Saturday.
AFC Wimbledon are unbeaten in League One since October 29 and can move back into the play-off places with a positive result.
The sides have previously played each other three times in cup competitions - all in Milton Keynes - with AFC Wimbledon earning their first win over MK Dons in the Johnstone's Paint Trophy in 2014/15.