The late postponement of City’s match against Barnsley on Tuesday night may prove to be a blessing in disguise – not only did it mean City should be a bit more rested following the defeat at Portsmouth, Saturday’s opponents were in action and suffered a defeat on Tuesday night, so City could claim to have a fitness edge ahead of the weekend. A familiar face is expected to be in goal, with former loanee Jokull Andresson signing on a 7-day emergency loan due to an injury to Jamal Blackman. Andresson has, since his previous spell at City, won his first cap for Iceland, but Saturday’s match may end up being his only appearance should Blackman recover quickly from his knock. Elsewhere the transfer window remains open and therefore any team news is provisional based on signings that could sneak in ahead of Saturday – Joe White made his first start in City colours and continued to impress even in defeat so he may keep his place, although that may mean once again the attacking trio of Brown, Nombe and Stansfield could be broken up. Archie Collins was a surprise omission from the starting XI at Portsmouth but should return, while Sam Stubbs is surely in the offing for a return even if from the bench.
MK Dons have arguably been the surprise package in League One for the wrong reason. Tipped for another tilt at promotion, instead they sit just outside the relegation zone having occupied it for most of the season. A change in manager has led to a slight improvement, although a 1-0 reverse at home to Shrewsbury keeps Mark Jackson’s side deep in trouble, while both of their wins since Jackson took over have been against Forest Green. Given a wealth of talent particularly in the final third it’s difficult to see why MK Dons have struggled, but even with the likes of Will Grigg, Mo Eisa and Bradley Johnson goals have been an issue – Jackson has bolstered his ranks during the window by signing Jonathan Leko, while Paris Maghoma has come in on loan.
The reverse fixture was remembered mostly for the debut of Jay Stansfield off the bench, but the match finished 1-0 to City through Cheick Diabate. City’s last visit to Stadium:MK was in August 2018, with Paul Tisdale in the home dugout following his departure from City that summer and Jordan Moore-Taylor and Robbie Simpson on the home side (along with unused substitute Sam Nombe). MK Dons won that one 1-0 thanks to a penalty from Kieran Agard after Dean Moxey had been sent off. MK Dons have the lead in league head to heads with five wins to City’s two, two matches finishing level.
The match officials for this game will be:-
Referee: Andy Haines
Assistant Referees: Christopher Husband and Paul Lister-Flynn
Fourth Official : Michael George
Andy Haines last took charge of an Exeter game in the opening game of the season, a 1-1 draw away to Lincoln City.