Stadium MK, Saturday 5th September 15:00 KO
Carabao Cup R1
Jonathan Harries writes – So, after six months of lockdown uncertainty we finally have a competitive game we can look forward to (sadly from the comfort of our sofa).
Usually L1 games kick off the season but these are unprecedented times so Russell Martin starts the 2020/21 season with a tricky looking fixture against newly promoted Championship side Coventry City in the League Cup R1.
This is the first full season under Russell Martin and there is cautious optimism around Stadium MK that we could be onto something good, although you will not have look too far for someone to argue with on that point. As the squad stands now there is not too much difference in the squad that finished 19th on PPG against Doncaster in March. Departures included Joe Walsh, Connor McGrandles, Jordan Moore Taylor two times Player of the year Alex Gilbey and the hero of the Cowshed top scorer Rhys Healey.
Making a swift return to the squad are Joe Mason, Callum Brittain, Louis Thompson, Carlton Morris (both on loan) and Ben Gladwin. New additions Daniel Harvie and Warren O’Hora (on loan from Brighton) and Richard Keogh.
With the transfer window open until October Russell Martin is looking for 3/4 more signings to bolster the squad.
Mark Robins side won L1 on PPG and quite rightly so. A solid if not spectacular side they have an impressive squad at their disposal. In Marko Marosi they have a very solid goalkeeper and in defence ex Dons defender Kyle McFadzean is a no-nonsense defender alongside either Brandon Mason or Michael Rose. Academy graduate Jodi Jones will be looking for an injury free season and in Liam Kelly and Callum O’ Hare they have grit and flare in abundance. The front two of Matty Godden and Tyler Walker can test any defence with their movement and finishing. Backed up by Amadou Bakayoko and Maxime Biamou they have a variety in firepower. New signings Ryan Giles (loan from Wolves) Gustavo Hamer and Marcus Hillssner all add depth to the squad.
Key Player – Callum O’Hare
Signed on a free from Aston Villa Coventry fans were buzzing for his return. A number 10 who can create and score goals and does not mind getting stuck in much is expected from if they are to survive in the Championship.
Able to play between the lines either Jordan Houghton or David Kasumu have a tough job keeping him quiet. If he plays well so will Coventry.
MK Dons will be without defender Regan Poole, Daniel Harvie and Warren O’Hora (International duty) whilst Kieran Agard, George Williams and Richard Keogh miss out through injury. There are doubts over Louis Thompson who has not played since the defeat to Arsenal.
Brittain, Davies, Cargill, Lewington, Sorinola.
Mason, Gladwin, Nombe.
Referee – Trevor Kettle, Assistants – Darren Blunden & Daniel Cook
Fourth Official – Scott Williams
1- 0 either way or penalties.