Paul Tisdale says Saturday's game against Peterborough will go a long way to proving where Dons stand in League One this season.
Now entering their seventh season in the third tier, Posh missed out on a play-off spot by one point last season, but have struggled at the start of this campaign, with just one win from four games so far, while Dons, newly promoted back to League One this term, have won two of three games at the start of the season,
The sides have a great history of rivalry down the years, having played 26 games since 2004. Peterborough have edged the stats, winning 12 to Dons' 10 victories.
And though the rivalry is set to reignite after a year apart, Tisdale believes Darren Ferguson's side will prove to be an acid test to how well Dons will fare this season.
He said: "We will always look at a characteristic of a game, you need to understand the emotional factors which may influence how people feel. There is a rivalry to it, the clubs have played together many times, and they're a barometer for us coming up to this league.
"They're an established League One team, they've been up to the Championship, and a top contender in League One, with a manager who knows the club and how they want to play. This will be a good test."
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Despite Posh's start, which sees them sitting 15th in the table, Tisdale believes nothing can be read into their current form, adding: "If you've won a couple or lost a couple at this stage, people need to temper their immediate emotions. We won't find out who is motoring until October, November time. They have a potent, creative strike force and over time, that will get them to the top end of that table."
The sides met at Stadium MK last season in the Checkatrade Trophy, which saw Dons win on penalties after a 3-3 draw, while the last league game was a now infamous 1-0 win, which saw Dons cling on despite playing for the majority of the game with nine men.
Callum Brittain said: "Last time we played them here was the nine-man game, and that was a great game. It will be an interesting affair.
"We've kicked on to where we should be to be honest. We're moving forwards and it should be positive."