MK Dons kick-off their Carabao Cup campaign this evening when they take on Wycombe Wanderers in an all-Buckinghamshire Round One tie.
Graham Alexander’s side got their season off to a superb start last weekend, beating Wrexham 5-3 at the STōK Cae Ras, and therefore have the opportunity, tonight, to start the season with back-to-back victories for the first time since 2018.
The Dons will also be hoping to start off on the right foot at Stadium MK – a venue which saw only nine home wins in the entirety of last season.
In terms of Carabao Cup success, MK Dons will be looking to make it past Round One for the second season in a row. Last term, the Dons reached the fourth round after getting their campaign underway with a 1-0 home win over Sutton United.
Kick-off this evening is at 7.45pm.
Wycombe Wanderers will view tonight’s Carabao Cup tie as an opportunity to bounce back after an opening-day defeat at home to Exeter City.
Matt Bloomfield’s team were beaten 3-0 by the Grecians at Adams Park so will, no doubt, want to get their campaign up and running by securing victory at Stadium MK this evening.
The Chairboys famously reached the Last Four of this competition back in 2006/07, beating top-division sides Charlton Athletic and Fulham while also holding eventual winners Chelsea to a 1-1 draw in the first leg of their Semi Final.
They reached the Second Round of the Carabao Cup last season, exiting to a 3-1 defeat to Bristol City after beating Northampton Town in the opening round.
LAST TIME OUT
MK Dons made an excellent start to the 2023/24 season, beating Wrexham 5-3 at the STōK Cae Ras.
An own goal from Eoghan O’Connell and a superb solo effort by Mo Eisa saw the Dons quickly establish a 2-0 lead inside the opening 10 minutes. Wrexham pulled a goal back before half-time but the two-goal margin was restored when Jonathan Leko brilliantly found the net from range soon into the second period.
Leko scored again on 64 minutes, latching onto Eisa’s pass before beating Ben Foster with a composed finish. Wrexham, again, reduced the deficit but Daniel Harvie scored in stoppage-time to put the game beyond doubt, even despite a late consolation from the hosts.
Wycombe Wanderers were beaten 3-0 by Exeter City in their first match of the 2023/24 season at Adams Park.
The Grecians scored the quickest goal on opening weekend with Jack Aitchison netting after just 24 seconds to put the visitors in front. Will Aimson then doubled Exeter’s advantage just three minutes later to put them firmly in control.
Sam Nombe missed the opportunity to add a third before half-time when he was denied from the penalty spot by Chairboys goalkeeper Max Stryjek. Stryjek, however, wasn’t able to keep out James Scott’s late strike, which sealed victory for the Devon club.
Chris Lucketti: “It's the next game we want to win. It's a tough challenge because of the opposition but it's a game we'll approach looking to win. We want to progress into the next round.
“(Wycombe are) in League One for a reason. It'll be a competitive game, they've got some good players, so we know we'll have to be bang at it.”
Matt Bloomfield: “It’s a game we want to win but we also have to use an opportunity to get players up to speed.
“We’re going into a really busy period, so we have to make sure we’re ready to go and risk losing anymore bodies. It’s an opportunity for people to get more minutes.”
MK Dons don’t appear to have any fresh concerns following Saturday’s season-opening victory at Wrexham.
Matthew Dennis, Conor Grant, Dean Lewington and Charlie Waller all missed the trip to North Wales through injury and it remains to be seen whether any of the quartet will return to action this evening at Stadium MK.
Wycombe Wanderers are without Jason McCarthy and David Wheeler through injury.
Chris Forino, Sam Vokes and Josh Scowen missed large parts of pre-season but were given minutes from the bench in Saturday’s defeat to Exeter City. They may be given starts by manager Matt Bloomfield this evening, in a bid to get them up to speed.
FACING FORMER CLUBS
Richard Keogh could make a return to Stadium MK this evening. The defender, signed by the Chairboys in the summer, spent five months with the Dons in the 2020/21 season, totalling 21 appearances.
Wycombe winger David Wheeler, who scored the goal to earn MK Dons promotion from League Two back in 2019, isn’t expected to be involved due to injury.
James Bell is tonight’s match referee, taking charge of his first game of the 2023/24 season.
Bell refereed 16 matches last season, with the majority of those in the Championship. He produced a total of 48 yellow cards, two red cards and awarded three penalties.
He last marshalled an MK Dons fixture back in August 2021, when he booked six players and awarded a penalty in a 2-1 defeat to Sunderland at Stadium MK.
His assistant referees are Ian Cooper and Matthew Smith while the fourth official is Rob Smith.
HEAD TO HEAD
MK Dons wins: 9
MK Dons wins at Stadium MK: 5
Last MK Dons win: 1-0, 8 May 2022 (Stadium MK)
Biggest MK Dons win: 3-1, 16 Dec 2006 (National Hockey Stadium)
Draws at Stadium MK: 1
Last draw: 2-2, 1 Apr 2023 (Adams Park)
Wycombe Wanderers wins: 5
Wycombe Wanderers wins at Stadium MK: 3
Last Wycombe Wanderers win: 1-0, 22 Oct 2022 (Stadium MK)
Biggest Wycombe Wanderers win: 2-0, 5 May 2022 (Adams Park)
ELSEWHERE IN CARABAO CUP
Huddersfield Town v Middlesbrough, 7pm
Mansfield Town v Grimsby Town, 7.30pm.
Newport County v Charlton Athletic, 7.30pm
Peterborough United v Swindon Town, 7.30pm
Swansea City v Northampton Town, 7.30pm
Accrington Stanley v Bradford City
Barnsley v Tranmere Rovers
Blackburn Rovers v Walsall
Bolton Wanderers v Barrow
Derby County v Blackpool
Harrogate Town v Carlisle United
Hull City v Doncaster Rovers
Notts County v Lincoln City
Port Vale v Fleetwood Town
Preston North End v Salford City
Rotherham United v Morecambe
Sheffield Wednesday v Stockport County
Stoke City v West Bromwich Albion
Sunderland v Crewe Alexandra
Cheltenham Town v Birmingham City
Exeter City v Crawley Town
Forest Green Rovers v Portsmouth
Gillingham v Southampton
Millwall v Reading
Plymouth Argyle v Leyton Orient
Stevenage v Watford
Sutton United v Cambridge United
Wrexham v Wigan Athletic, 8pm
Leeds United v Shrewsbury Town, Wednesday 7.45pm
Burton Albion v Leicester City, Wednesday 8pm
AFC Wimbledon v Coventry City, Wednesday 7.45pm
Bristol City v Oxford United, Wednesday 7.45pm
Cardiff City v Colchester United, Wednesday 7.45pm
Ipswich Town v Bristol Rovers, Wednesday 7.45pm
Queens Park Rangers v Norwich City, Wednesday 16 August 7.45pm
FOLLOW IT LIVE
Tickets are still on sale from the Box Office and online, priced at £12 adults, £10 over-65s, £10 under-25s, £6 under-21s and £1 under-14s.
To book tickets CLICK HERE, visit the Box Office at Stadium MK or call 01908 622933. Tickets will be available to buy right up until kick-off.
Can't make the game? Supporters can LISTEN to this fixture live on iFollow MK Dons for £2.50 - to purchase an Audio Match Pass CLICK HERE!
Live text updates will also be provided on the Match Centre as well as Twitter, while a full report will be available to read shortly after the full-time whistle. Post-match reaction and highlights will follow after.