MK Dons will be looking to make it three straight wins to start the 2018/19 season when they take on Charlton Athletic in Round One of the Carabao Cup.
Paul Tisdale’s men have started the new campaign in strong fashion, following up a 2-1 opening-day triumph over Oldham Athletic by beating Bury 1-0 at Stadium MK last weekend.
Attention tonight turns to the Carabao Cup, though, and it’s a competition that MK Dons have enjoyed real success in during the early stages - a win this evening would be their ninth consecutive Round One triumph.
It would also be the first time they have won their first three games of a season.
Kick-off is at 7.45pm.
Charlton Athletic picked up their first victory of 2018/19 last Saturday and will be looking to build momentum by coming out on top again this evening.
Lee Bowyer’s side beat Shrewsbury Town 2-1 at The Valley - small revenge for last year’s play-off defeat to the Shrews. The Addicks were beaten 2-1 by Sunderland on opening weekend.
Charlton boast a strong record over MK Dons, having come out on top in seven of the past 15 meetings between the two clubs. They have also won four times at Stadium MK which is just as many times as MK Dons have won in total against the Addicks.
MK Dons made it two wins from two to start the season courtesy of a 1-0 victory over Bury at Stadium MK.
Ousseynou Cisse scored the decisive goal for Paul Tisdale’s side, who edged out a tight encounter between two teams who were relegated from Sky Bet League One last season.
Earlier in the match, both teams hit the woodwork - Joe Walsh saw his saved volley hit the crossbar before Nicky Adams struck the post with a free-kick.
Shakers goalkeeper Joe Murphy did well to keep out Ryan Watson’s deflected free-kick in the second half before Cisse’s late winner.
Charlton Athletic’s Karlan Grant grabbed a dramatic 90th minute winner to earn the Addicks a 2-1 victory over Shrewsbury Town and ensure revenge for last year's play-off defeat.
The honours looked set to be shared after Lyle Taylor's 62nd minute opener was cancelled out by Lenell John-Lewis' leveller seven minutes from time.
However, in stoppage time, Grant met a cross from Pratley and sent a deft header past the Shrewsbury goalkeeper into the net to secure a first win of the new season for his side.
Paul Tisdale: “First and foremost, you have to try and win it. We are playing against a team in a higher division but, of course, we are going to try and win it.
“I have to be very careful of the players we have who are fatigued - i.e. Alex Gilbey and Joe Walsh, who are back earlier than expected. We have a number of balance up before making a decision on how we play, who plays.”
Lee Bowyer: “I’m going to play near enough all youngsters. Nicky Ajose will be the only [outfield] senior player. Anfernee Dijksteel – who is still one of the youngsters – Taylor Maloney and Albie Morgan will all play. Apart from that, it will be Under-23s.”
Paul Tisdale hinted at making changes to his side for tonight’s Carabao Cup tie - Alex Gilbey and Joe Walsh were two names that the manager mentioned when discussing the possibility of resting players.
In terms of injuries, Osman Sow (knee), Brandon Thomas-Asante (ankle), Sam Nombe (ankle), Conor McGrandles (eye), Peter Pawlett (ankle) all remain sidelined. Chuks Aneke missed the win over Bury after Tisdale admitted that the Club are in talks about the striker leaving MK Dons on loan.
Lee Bowyer is expected to make wholesale changes to his starting line-up, with Nicky Ajose the only senior player set to be involved.
Young pros Anfernee Dijksteel, Taylor Maloney and Albie Morgan are three others who Bowyer confirmed would play with the rest of the side likely to be made up of Under-23s players.
Jason Pearce, Tariqe Fosu, Ben Reeves, Billy Clarke, Jake Forster-Caskey and Igor Vetokele are all out.
John Busby will take charge of tonight’s tie, refereeing his third match of the season.
The third-year official was busy at the weekend, as he awarded two penalties in the match between Plymouth Argyle and Southend United and sent both managers to the stands.
Busby had three MK Dons appointments last season, including the side’s 2-1 win over Gillingham during which he produced seven yellow cards.
His assistant referees tonight are Garry Maskell and Abbas Khan while the fourth official is Carl Fitch-Jackson.
MK Dons wins: 4
MK Dons wins at Stadium MK: 3
Last MK Dons win: 2-0, 4 Apr 2017 (The Valley)
Biggest MK Dons win: 3-1, 13 Dec 2016 (Stadium MK)
Draws at Stadium MK: 1
Last draw: 2-2, 18 Nov 2017 (The Valley)
Charlton wins: 7
Charlton wins at Stadium MK: 4
Last Charlton win: 2-1, 17 Feb 2018 (Stadium MK)
Biggest Charlton win: 5-1, 14 Nov 2009 (The Valley)
MK Dons to win by exactly 1 goal: 5/2
Paul Tisdale’s side have won each of their first two matches by one goal.
Tickets are priced at £12 adults and seniors, £5 under-18s and £1 under-12s while clubRed prices are £18 adults, £7 under-18s and £5 under-12s.
To book tickets click HERE, visit the Box Office/cash-only ticket booths at Stadium MK or call 0333 200 5343. Tickets will be available to buy right up until kick-off.
iFollow MK Dons will have also live commentary of the game for all supporters – click HERE to sign up for as little as £4.49 for a month. Carabao Cup matches are not available to watch on iFollow MK Dons,
Supporters can also stay in touch with the action via mkdons.com’s Match Centre, which can be accessed by visiting the home page from 6pm.
There will also be full coverage on the Club’s social media channels – Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat!
A full match report will be available to view on mkdons.com straight after the final whistle along with full reaction from Paul Tisdale and a player. Highlights will be available to view from midnight on Wednesday night/Thursday morning.
Elsewhere in the Carabao Cup…
Tuesday 13th August
Nottingham Forest v Bury, 7.30pm
Blackpool v Barnsley
Carlisle United v Blackburn Rovers
Crewe Alexandra v Fleetwood Town
Grimsby Town v Rochdale
Leeds United v Bolton Wanderers
Macclesfield Town vBradford City
Mansfield Town v Accrington Stanley
Middlesbrough v Notts County
Oldham Athletic v Derby County
Port Vale v Lincoln City
Preston North End v Morecambe
Rotherham United v Wigan Athletic
Scunthorpe United v Doncaster Rovers
Sheffield United v Hull City
Shrewsbury Town v Burton Albion
Tranmere Rovers v Walsall
Bristol City v Plymouth Argyle
Bristol Rovers v Crawley Town
Cambridge United v Newport County
Cheltenham Town v Colchester United
Exeter City v Ipswich Town
Millwall v Gillingham
Norwich City v Stevenage
Oxford United v Coventry City
Portsmouth v AFC Wimbledon
Queens Park Rangers v Peterborough United
Southend United v Brentford
Swindon Town v Forest Green Rovers
Wycombe Wanderers v Northampton Town
Yeovil Town v Aston Villa
Reading v Birmingham City, 8pm
West Bromwich Albion v Luton Town, 8pm
Thursday 15th August
Sunderland v Sheffield Wednesday
*All matches kick-off at 7.45pm unless otherwise stated.