Storylines to follow heading into Saturday's Carabao Cup Round One with Coventry City at Stadium MK...
MK Dons make their return
After almost six months of waiting, MK Dons finally return to the pitch for a competitive fixture.
A lot has changed since Russell Martin’s men faced Doncaster Rovers on 7 March – their last outing before the Coronavirus outbreak brought an abrupt halt to the 2019/20 season – and things will be much different this weekend compared to that Spring afternoon.
Not least the fact there will be no supporters inside Stadium MK due to Government restrictions. MK Dons fans will still be able to watch their team online courtesy of iFollow MK Dons but it just won’t be the same for Martin and his side, as they begin a new chapter in the Club’s history.
Injury and international absentees
The Dons have remained relatively healthy through pre-season but there are still some concerns ahead of this weekend’s tie – and it’s not just down to injuries.
George Williams, Richard Keogh and Kieran Agard look set to miss out having been sidelined for the vast majority of pre-season due to injury. Louis Thompson also limped off during the friendly with Arsenal and Martin should provide an update on his condition when he meets with the media on Friday.
Furthermore, the Dons look set to be without three defenders due to international commitments - Daniel Harvie, Regan Poole and Warren O’Hora are all away with their national teams and are likely to be unavailable for selection.
Chance for the young players
The potential for absentees should provide Russell Martin with an opportunity to run the rule over his younger stars, many of whom have spent pre-season training with the first-team squad.
Jack Davies, who recently turned professional, has featured in most of the practice matches along with second-year scholars John Freeman, Tali Jallow, Malaki Black and Joshua Bailey. Could there be chances for the stars of the future to show what they can do on the big stage?
While the focus for MK Dons will be on winning Saturday’s tie and progressing through in the Carabao Cup, it will also be another chance for boss Russell Martin to see how his side fare against a higher-division opponent ahead of their Sky Bet League One opener next week.
The Dons have had a number of testing warm-up games, including a tough encounter with FA Cup winners Arsenal, a trip to new Premier League side Fulham and, of course, Coventry City at Stadium MK.
Martin’s men have, for the most part, matched their higher-ranked opponents through the summer and the Dons boss will be hoping that continues in Saturday’s competitive environment, providing a real boost ahead of their first league fixture on 12 September.
The month of the Carabao Cup
This season’s Carabao Cup, as with most things in this Coronavirus-affected world, will look different in 2020/21.
The first four rounds of the competition will take place over consecutive midweeks through September, with the final three rounds then taking place in December, January and February respectively.
All matches are due to take place behind closed doors, with fans able to watch them their Club’s via iFollow service. MK Dons fans can purchase Match Passes for all our Carabao Cup ties on mkdons.com, starting with Saturday’s Round One tie – click HERE to purchase a Match Pass!
MK Dons face Coventry City in Round One of the Carabao Cup on Saturday 5 September - their first match of the 2020/21 season. Kick-off is at 3pm.
The only way to watch Russell Martin's men in action is by purchasing a Video Match Pass on iFollow MK Dons. For just £10, you'll have be able to enjoy the game live on your computer, laptop, tablet or mobile device, wherever you are!
To purchase a Video Match Pass click HERE. Coverage on Saturday 5 September starts at 2pm on mkdons.com.