Sunderland fans expected to travel in great number to Milton Keynes
With more than 4,000 Sunderland fans expected on Saturday, Russell Martin and Dean Lewington are expecting a bustling atmosphere at Stadium MK.
The Black Cats have picked up form recently under manager Phil Parkinson, and sit seventh in the League One table, while Dons remain in the relegation scrap in 19th, three points clear of the drop zone.
Coventry brought more than 6,000 to MK1 when the sides met in October, as did Liverpool in the Carabao Cup game a month earlier, and Sunderland are expected to travel in large numbers for only their second game in Milton Keynes.
"I'm looking forward to it," said Martin. "Sunderland are huge in terms of their support and fanbase. I prefer those games, and I think the players do too. It creates a great atmosphere. Our fans thrive off having a big away end too."
Lewington added: "It creates a good atmosphere. When they're winning it's not that nice, but the ones this year have been pretty decent. We've had good home results with big crowds, and big away support seems to up our fans as well. The stadium is built for big crowds and it works better when there are more people in there."
Though Sunderland are in a decent vein of form and have won all three previous meetings against Dons, Martin feels his side have a good chance of causing an upset.
He said: "They've picked up under Phil Parkinson, who is a really good manager who knows the league and always has his teams organised. But we always say, at Stadium MK it has to be about us and us trying to control a game of football.
"We have real respect for them, and I think they will be right up there come the end of the season, but we have to go and win the game."