HEAD-TO-HEAD: Crucial Cobblers clash 'a massive game' for MK Dons

MK Dons and Northampton drew 0-0 at Stadium MK earlier this season
MK Dons and Northampton drew 0-0 at Stadium MK earlier this season

The stakes couldn’t be much higher on Saturday when MK Dons take on Northampton Town at Sixfields.

With Dons just a point outside the League 1 relegation zone, defeat would see Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink’s men jump them in the table, heaping more misery on Robbie Neilson.

But after a similar scenario facing them ahead of last week's game against AFC Wimbledon, which finished 0-0 at Stadium MK, Neilson says his side are used to the pressure.

"It's the same every week," he said. "We want to win games. We go into another game with another team down there with us. It's another derby, a massive game for us. We need three points to get going.

"The players understand the magnitude of it. But we've got a new player, and others coming back from injury and suspension so it will give the whole squad a boost."

Neilson will have four players available again to him on Saturday - Osman Sow returns from suspension, Ike Ugbo is back from his U21s game with Chelsea, Aidan Nesbitt looks set to return from injury and Marcus Tavernier signed on Thursday from Middlesbrough.

On his return, Sow said: "It has been tough watching on, but it's done and I'm looking forward to getting back on Saturday.

"It's a very big game. We're all looking good, feeling good and we're looking forward to it. Everyone at the club knows how important this game is. We need to work hard and try to come back with the three points. It's the only thing that matters.

"I don't care about the performance, as long as we get three points."

Dons’ last trip to Sixfields wasn’t one to remember, with an abject performance seeing them 3-0 down inside 28 minutes, before clawing it back to a flattering 3-2 by the final whistle.

Dons have a decent record at NN5 though, having won three times in six visits, with two defeats and a draw. Their success even stretches to a win over Coventry City when they were ground-sharing while in League 1.

Northampton though have won their last two heading into the clash, and jumped AFC Wimbledon in the table on Saturday after beating Bradford away.