Opening day fixtures offer up no more points than any other, but they can certainly start the season off right, and MK Dons will be looking to do just that against Cambridge United.
Having lost just one opening league fixture in the last decade, Dons have amassed 21 points from a possible 30 down the years. Cambridge too though have a decent account on the first day, picking up four wins, four draws and just two defeats in the last 10 years.
When it comes to head-to-heads between the sides though, Dons are very much the form side, winning each of the four previous encounters. Both games at the Abbey Stadium have been narrow 1-0 wins, but they have handed out heavy punishment to the U’s at Stadium MK, winning 6-0 and 4-1.
While Dons have gone through pre-season unbeaten, with games against AFC Rushden & Diamonds, Norwich City U23s, King’s Lynn Town and Barnet, Mark Bonner’s side have lost four of their five pre-season outings this summer to the likes of Cardiff City, Norwich City and Hull City.
All 13 of Dons’ new signings will be available for the game, but Liam Manning wil be without Daniel Harvie, Mo Eisa and Tennai Watson through injury.
Referee John Busby will take charge of the game. Last season, Busby loved his yellow card, dishing it out 120 times in 33 outings, with his red coming out four times. One of those reds came in the last time he oversaw Dons – their emphatic 4-1 win over Gillingham at Priestfield in September 2021.
Adrian Waters and Leigh Crowhurst will run the lines with Fourth Official Stephen Finch.
Bookmakers have Dons at 10/11 to win the game, Cambridge are 3/1 and 5/2 the draw.