MK Dons travel to Sky Bet Championship outfit Reading this evening for a testing EFL Cup second-round tie.
Tonight’s encounter is set to be a tougher test for the Dons but they'll still have hope of securing a place in the third round for the seventh time in eight years.
They also have good form against this evening’s opponents having never lost to the Royals, albeit the two sides have only ever played each other twice – the first-ever meeting finished as a draw, while the Dons won the second contest 1-0.
Kick-off is at 8pm.
Reading will be in search of their first win in four games tonight.
The Royals started the season well with victories over Preston North End and Plymouth Argyle, the latter in the first round of the EFL Cup.
Since then, however, Jaap Stam’s men have only taken a point from three games, so will be eager to turn their fortunes around in front of their own fans.
Winger John Swift is currently their leading marksmen with two goals to his name, while Joey van den Berg, Roy Beerens, Gareth McCleary and Paul McShane have already got on the scoresheet this season.
LAST TIME OUT
The Dons earned a second straight 1-0 away league victory courtesy of Scott Wootton’s 95th-minute header at Rochdale.
Nicky Maynard and Ed Upson both went close for Robinson’s men in the first-half, with the former also testing Dale keeper Congrad Logan after the break.
David Martin pulled off a stunning save to deny Donal McDermott late on before Wootton, on his league debut for the club, headed home Upson’s free-kick deep into stoppage-time to send the visitors home with all three points.
Anthony Knockaert then put the Seagulls ahead with a low strike seconds into the second half, before defender Paul McShane earned his side a share of the spoils with a close-range finish.
John Swift opened the scoring with an early free-kick but Brighton equalised just six minutes later when Joey van den Berg, who was later sent off, headed into his own net.
Reading held promotion-hopefuls Brighton & Hove Albion to a 2-2 draw at the Madejski Stadium, despite finishing the game with 10 men.
“It’s more about development and players getting minutes. Nonetheless, we’ll all give our best as always."
“They drew 2-2 with Brighton on Saturday and Brighton are one of the best teams in the Championship. The playing career that Jaap Stam has had and the quality of people he’s had around him throughout will, I’m sure, certainly stand him in good stead.
Karl Robinson: “It’s another chance for the kids to develop and get more minutes under their belts against a good Reading side.
Last Dons win: 1-0, 16 Jan 2016 (Stadium MK)
Dons wins at Madejski Stadium: 0
Dons wins: 1
HEAD TO HEAD
Breakspear’s assistant referees are Mark Derrien and Michael Webb with the fourth official Constantine Hatzidakis.
The Surrey-based official has issued 23 yellow cards so far this season, while he also dismissed two players.
This evening’s referee will be Charles Breakspear who, ironically, took charge of the Dons’ 1-0 win over Reading back in January.
Dominic Samuel won’t be involved due to a knee problem while Joey van den Berg is suspended following the red card he picked up in Saturday’s draw with Brighton.
Reading’s new signing Sandro Wieser could feature after moving to Berkshire from FC Thun. Fellow recruit Joseph Mendes is also pushing for his first start.
Darren Potter (hip), Kieran Agard (thigh) and Chuks Aneke (knee) are out injured.
Ed Upson, Scott Wootton and Dean Bowditch are the only three players set to retain their place in the starting XI, with the likes of George Baldock, Dean Lewington, Joe Walsh, Daniel Powell and Nicky Maynard all not making the short trip to Berkshire.
George B Williams, Ben Tilney, Oran Jackson, Giorgio Rasulo, Brandon Thomas-Asante and Kabongo Tshimanga are among those who are expected to feature, the latter after making his league debut for the Dons on Saturday.
Boss Robinson has confirmed he’ll make up to eight changes to his side for tonight’s clash, with the Liverpudlian set to field a number of young professionals and Academy players, just as he did in the previous round at Newport County.
“When you play in the cup, you want to get as far as you can – hopefully all the way to the final, but we know that’s not going to be easy. We’ll give it a shot and on Tuesday we’ll be working very hard to get a result.”
Jaap Stam: "They have got a good strong team as well, so it’ll be a hard game.
A full match report will be available to view on mkdons.com straight after the final whistle.
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Chelsea v Bristol Rovers, 7.45pm
Burton Albion v Liverpool, 7.45pm
Blackburn Rovers v Crewe Alexandra, 7.45pm
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ELSEWHERE IN EFL CUP
for more betting options for Tuesday’s EFL Cup tie – don't forget the Dons benefit every time you win with Sky Bet! here Click
All odds correct at the time of writing
Ed Upson: 17/2
Brandon Thomas-Asante: 11/2
Kabongo Tshimanga: 9/2
Giorgio Rasulo: 9/2
Dean Bowditch: 7/2
First Dons goalscorer
Dons win: 11/2
Reading win: 4/9
Result after 90mins
SKY BET ODDS
Last draw: 0-0, 22 Aug 2015 (Madejski Stadium)
Draws at Madejski Stadium: 1
Last Reading win: N/A
Reading wins at Madejski Stadium: N/A
Reading wins: 0
Tickets for tonight's EFL Cup tie at Reading are priced from £10 adults and £5 seniors/18-24s/under-17s, while travel is available from £17 adults and £16 all other supporters.
To purchase tickets click here, visit the Box Office or call 0333 200 5343.