A look ahead to MK Dons' Bristol Street Trophy match with Northampton Town

Joel Anker was a star player for MK Dons when the sides met in pre-seasonJoel Anker was a star player for MK Dons when the sides met in pre-season
Joel Anker was a star player for MK Dons when the sides met in pre-season
Previewing MK Dons' final Bristol Street Motors Trophy match against Northampton Town

A spot as Group N winner is on offer for MK Dons when they take on League One side Northampton Town at Stadium MK tonight.

Level on points with Oxford United, who have played all of their Bristol Street Motors Trophy matches already, Dons will proceed to the next round with a home tie if they can beat the Cobblers by any means.

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Mike Williamson is likely to name a heavily youth-orientated side to face their League One opponents as he looks to instil his new style of play in the first-team, likely to prefer time on the training ground with them ahead of Saturday's trip to Salford City in League Two.

Jon Brady's side are bottom of the pile heading into the game, and cannot qualify regardless of a win over Dons.

Having secured promotion from League Two last time out, Northampton sit 19th in League One thus far, with five wins and two draws from their opening 16 fixtures in the third tier.

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Prior to their 2-0 win over Burton last time out, Cobblers had gone six without a win, losing five of six, but like Dons, were given a watching brief during international weekend.

There have been 18 games between the sides down the years, with Dons claiming the spoils in 11 of them. Northampton have just three wins, the last of which coming in January 2018 - a win which cost Robbie Neilson his job at Stadium MK.

In 2020/21, the sides played in the EFL Trophy twice - with Dons winning 3-1 in the group stage before a 2-0 win at Sixfields in the knock-out rounds.

Joel Anker was a star player for MK Dons when the sides met in pre-seasonJoel Anker was a star player for MK Dons when the sides met in pre-season
Joel Anker was a star player for MK Dons when the sides met in pre-season

The sides also played in pre-season, when two late Northampton goals earned Cobblers a 3-1 win over Graham Alexander's men.

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Referee Sam Purkiss will take charge of the game. In 14 games, he has shown 69 yellows and eight reds. Dons fans last saw him during the entertaining 2-2 draw with Wycombe Wanderers at Adams Park in April. David Harrison and Ryan Head will run the lines with Fourth Official Paul Evans.

Bookmakers Boyle Sport have Dons at 5/4 to go 100 per cent in the division, with Northampton 8/5, and 5/2 the draw.