Latics head to Stadium MK on Saturday 5 August (kick-off 3pm) for the first match of the 2017-18 Sky Bet League One season.
- Match Preview: Milton Keynes Dons v Wigan Athletic.
- Latics take on Robbie Neilson’s Dons at Stadium MK.
- First ever league visit to Stadium MK: £22 Adults, £17 Over 65s, £7 U18s - pay on the day available.
MK DONS v WIGAN ATHLETIC
SKY BET LEAGUE ONE
SATURDAY 5 AUGUST
KICK OFF 3.00pm
Wigan Athletic head to Milton Keynes Dons on Saturday afternoon for their first Sky Bet League One fixture of 2017-18, which is also Paul Cook’s first competitive match in charge of Wigan Athletic.
PRE-MATCH BUILD UP
This will be the first ever league meeting between the sides as Paul Cook takes charge of a competitive Wigan Athletic match for the first time since arriving at the club this summer. For the Dons, this will also be the first time Robbie Nielson starts a season at Stadium MK having arrived last November.
Expectations will be high on both sides, with several debuts expected for both and early season optimism seeing both sets of fans confident of getting off to a good start.
The Dons have seen nine players leave during the summer, including the departures of George Baldock, Dean Bowditch and former Latics striker Nicky Maynard. Coming the other way, and in with a chance of facing Latics, are midfielders Ousseynou Cissé from French club Tours, Conor McGrandles from Norwich City, Peter Pawlett from Aberdeen and Dutch goalkeeper Wieger Sietsma from SC Heerenveen.
On the Latics side, there will more than likely be a debut for Christian Walton, while Chey Dunkley, Terell Thomas, Gavin Massey, Lee Evans, Callum Elder, Ivan Toney and Noel Hunt will be in contention to make their competitive bow in a Latics shirt.
From the four young players seen in pre-season, Callum Lang, who has featured in all five pre-season matches, scoring three times, would be favourite to get game time, most probably off the bench.
Will Grigg was given more game time against Chorley in midweek to add to the 45 minutes he played at Grimsby Town and Cook will leave it late to decide on his fitness as he makes a return to the stadium where he scored 18 goals in 29 games, both on loan as an MK Dons player and for Walsall.
The fitness of Nick Powell will also be a major issue in the build up to the game…
Latics will be roared on by a decent following of over 1,100 supporters, they will certainly hope we can fare better than in the past two seasons - generally Latics have not got the greatest record on opening days but Cook himself has won all three games he has managed at Stadium MK. Something's got to give...
Robbie Nielson – starting a season for the first time after his appointment in December 2016
OUR RECORD AT STADIUM MK
Latics have played there before of course, in the FA Cup in January 2014, but this will be the first ever league encounter between the sides since the transition from Wimbledon to MK Dons.
Following an entertaining 3-3 draw in the original game at the DW, Latics won the replay at Stadium MK after extra-time thanks to a brace from Nick Powell. The only other player on the Latics team sheet that day who has a chance of featuring on Saturday is Lee Nicholls, who was on the bench that night. He moved to MK Dons this time last year but only managed nine league appearances.
Nick Powell nets for Latics in the FA Cup in January 2014
The current connections the two clubs over the years are Will Grigg, Craig Morgan and Lee Nicholls. Going back historically, Nicky Maynard played for both, as did Drewe Broughton, Alex Revell, Sanmi Odelusi, Josh Murphy, Jack Hendry, James Tavernier, Jimmy Bullard and Paul Mitchell.
Will Grigg scores for the Dons against Manchester United in the Capital One Cup in 2014
AWAY FAN INFO
For supporters traveliing to Buckinghamshire, please click here to follow the Official MK Dons Away fans guide