MK Dons are faced with a Premier League test this week as they turn their attentions back to the Capital One Cup.
Karl Robinson’s side will go head-to-head with Sunderland on Tuesday night in a repeat of last year’s third round contest; however, on this occasion the Black Cats are under the guidance of Paolo Di Canio.
Sunderland are just two games into their new Premier League campaign and currently have a defeat to Fulham and point from Southampton, thanks to a goal from Emanuele Giaccherini, to their name. Meanwhile, the Dons are unbeaten in five but also come into the fixture on the back of a draw with Bristol City.
The Dons are expected to revert back to a younger-looking line-up, just as they did in the first round win over Northampton, with Ian McLoughlin likely to deputise in goal. The Dons goalie made his first start for the men from MK1 in the same competition against Sunderland last year.
On that occasion Sunderland were reduced to ten men when Lee Cattermole was shown a straight red card in the first half at stadiummk, but the North East side still progressed through to the next round thanks to goals from Craig Gardner and James McClean.
Sunderland could be boosted by the return of Steven Fletcher for the Cup match against the Dons. The Scottish international has been out of action for six months following ankle surgery and returned to training last weekend. Di Canio may choose to re-introduce the striker to first team football against the League 1 side.
The Black Cats made two changes at the weekend for the trip to St Mary’s and former Swindon Town boss Di Canio could once against tinker with his starting XI to keep his team fresh for their League campaign.
If the score is even at the end of 90 minutes an additional 30 minutes of extra-time will be played. If the two sides cannot be separated after extra-time the tie will be decided on a penalty shoot-out.