In focus: MK Dons...
MK Dons were founded in 2004 in controversial circumstances following Wimbledon’s relocation to Milton Keynes from South London and they’ve experienced promotions and relegations in equal measure in that time.
Their first season under this name was the 2004/05 League One season, and after just two seasons playing League One football they were relegated to League Two in 2006. In the 2007/08 season the Dons won the League Two division title along with the Football League Trophy under the management of Paul Ince.
MK Dons then had a seven season stay in League One before winning promotion to the Championship in 2015 under the management of Karl Robinson, but they suffered relegation back to League One after just one season.
Relegation once again in the 2017/18 campaign meant life in League Two last season, but they hired well-known at that level Paul Tisdale from Exeter City to rejuvenate the club. After a final day of the season win over Mansfield Town, the Dons were promoted straight back to League One with a third place finish.
MK Dons manager Paul Tisdale has managed two teams prior to being manager of the Dons. From 2001-2006 he was in charge at Conference side Team Bath where he led the club to four promotions in non-league football.
From here Tisdale joined then Conference side Exeter City in 2006 where in his first season he led them to their first play-off finish, just missing out losing 2-1 to Morecambe at Wembley. The following season he brought them back to Wembley but this time it was a different outcome with a 1-0 victory over Cambridge United winning the Grecians promotion to League Two.
Their progress continued with another promotion coming the following season with a second-place finish in League Two, the first time an Exeter manager has won back-to-back promotions.
They were relegated in 2011/12 but continued to push at the top of League Two, with consecutive Play-Off Final visits in 2017 and 2018, both which ended in defeat. The latter, against Coventry, signalled the end of Tisdale’s 12 years at the club as he left for MK Dons.
Blues and MK Dons have only played each other a total of 12 times. The first time was on 3rd December 2005 in an FA Cup tie where MK Dons ran out 2-1 winners. The most recent game played between the teams was on 21st April in 2018 in League One and Southend won this game 4-0.
MK Dons were initially based at the National Hockey Stadium when founded but their current ground was built in time for the 07/08 season, this is called the Stadium MK.
Manager Paul Tisdale's uncle is Game of Thrones actor James Faulkner who played Randyll Tarly in the show.
Tottenham Hotspur and England midfielder player Dele Alli came through MK Dons’ academy.