The Dons vs Sutton United
Venue: Stadium MK capacity: 30,500 for football)
Competition: Carabao EFL Cup First Round.
How far did they go in 2021/22: The Dons – First Round, Sutton Utd – First Round.
Form Book: The Dons: Played 2 Won 0 Drawn 0 Lost 2 GF 0 GA 2 GD -2 Pts 0 – Position: 23 (League One)
No Goal stats to show.
Previous Result: Lost 1-0 at home to Sheffield Wednesday. (06/08/22)
Sutton Utd: Played 2 Won 0 Drawn 1 Lost 1 GF 2 GA 3 GD -1 Pts 1 – Position: 16 (League Two)
Top Scorers: Omar Bugiel & Donovan Wilson – 1 goal each.
Previous Result: Lost 2-1 away at Doncaster Rovers. (06/08/22)
Head-to-head: There has been no previous competitive meetings between the Dons, and Sutton Utd.
The Dons vs Sheffield Wednesday – Recap.
Josh Windass’ dubious twenty-third minute penalty was all that separated these two losing play-off semi-finalists from last season. Windass who was himself chopped down by Dons skipper Dean Lewington on the edge of the home penalty box, dusted himself off to slam the ball past Jamie Cumming.
The Owls win at the SMK handed Liam Manning his second straight defeat, although the points could have gone either way in this tight, and scrappy affair.
The Owls top scorer Fisayo Dele-Bashiru should have doubled the visitors lead right on half time, following Will Grigg’s forced substitution through injury.
The Wednesday midfielder drove the ball into the Dons area after winning a challenge on Brentford loanee Dan Oyegoke, but the following effort was dealt with by Cumming in the Dons goalmouth.
Again, there is very little to report back on with regards to first half chances for Manning’s men, however, Welsh International Matt Smith, and captain Dean Lewington did test the Owls David Stockdale, forcing two good reaction saves in quick succession from the keeper.
Stockdale was forced into another save from the impressive Dan Kemp, halfway through the second half as the Dons searched in vain for an elusive equaliser that wouldn’t come.
The wait for a first league goal, a first league point, and a first league win of the season goes on for the Charcoal and White shirted Dons then.
But there were some encouraging signs to be acknowledged from the loss here, “the screws are all there, they just need tightening”, yes, get the defence right, and then I believe we will see some decent results from this group of players.
How could The Dons line up?
Tonight’s game presents an opportunity to rotate bodies, and hand some game time to fringe players like Brooklyn Ilunga, Dawson Devoy, or even Zak Jules against our lower league opposition. I fully expect that the team will go again with the much maligned 4-2-3-1 formation as the side looks to bed the system into the players mindset. Will Grigg is a definite absentee after his hamstring pull against Wednesday, and Nathan Holland is a doubt following his knock in the same game. Tennai Watson, Dan Harvie, and Mo Eisa are still recovering from their recent injuries, and will most likely miss this tie too.
Possible Starting XI – 4-2-3-1
23. Franco Ravizzoli
12. Dan Oyegoke, 5. Warren O’Hora (c), 4. Jack Tucker, 25. Brooklyn Ilunga.
8. Ethan Robson, 14. Bradley Johnson.
20. Darragh Burns, 17. Dan Kemp, 7. Matt Smith.
30. Matt Dennis
How Sutton United could line-up?
The U’s manager Matt Gray has held firm in his belief of playing two banks of four, with two strikers up front. It is a system that has reaped rewards for Sutton in recent years with promotion into the Football League, and a place at last season’s Papa John’s Trophy final where they took Rotherham United to extra time – before losing 4-2.
Possible Starting XI – 4-4-2
1. Jack Rose.
22. Joe Kizzi, 5. Ben Goodliffe, 6. Louis John, 24. Rob Milsom.
7. Enzio Boldewijn, 8. Alistair Smith, 15. Craig Eastmond (c), 10. Harry Beautyman.
9. Omar Bugiel, 39. Kwame Thomas.
One’s to Watch
30. Matt Dennis – The Dons: The former Norwich City striker started this season behind Will Grigg in the pecking order at Stadium MK. He has shown little glimpses of the talent he possesses against The Owls, and his willingness to take his opponent on with the ball. Dennis did very well when on loan at Southend United in the National League last season, and in my opinion, Sutton are only slightly better than the level he faced there. I can see the youngster getting a fair number of chances against the U’s. Dennis, 20, has yet to be fully unleashed on the EFL, and this Cup tie is the opportunity he needs to grasp with both hands if he is to force his way into Manning’s thinking going forwards.
9. Omar Bugiel – Sutton United: Omar Bugiel, 28, is a massive influence within the Sutton United dressing room, he doesn’t score many for a striker, but he has that certain ability that allows him to read the game, his vision to bring his teammates into the game is what marks him out as one to watch for me. His career total for goals currently stands at 94, from 344 appearances. Bugiel is a Lebanon International, with 10 caps and a goal to his name, but he could’ve been playing for Germany if his father had not helped him gain citizenship for his chosen country. Born in the fatherland, he started his footballing journey at 1860 Munich in 2005. Before moving to England in 2010, then bouncing around non-league before the attacker found himself snapped up by Forest Green Rovers in 2017. Helping The Green Devils into the Football League in 2018, he helped Sutton achieve the same success just 3 years later. Bugiel’s a physical presence who can unsettle any defence, and Sutton will be hoping that this is the case tonight.
Score Prediction –Dons 2 Sutton United 1
This is the ideal opportunity to find our shooting boots tonight, that is not to say that the U’s should be taken lightly by any means. They will be a very well drilled side, but our Dons are also looking for the win, that will hopefully spark the club’s season into life. A narrow win for Liam Manning’s side, but still no clean sheet is my prediction for this game.
Match Odds: Supplied by Ladbrokes (*Other companies are available)
The Dons to Win: 8/11, The Draw: 27/10, Sutton United to Win: 19/5
(*Odds are subject to change.)
Thank you for reading this Carabao Cup preview, and if you are making your way to the Stadium MK tonight, enjoy the game. Hopefully the name of Milton Keynes Dons will be gracing the second-round draw by at least half past nine, getting a big draw in the next round is a carrot worth fighting for after all.
Next Up: Ipswich Town (a) – Saturday 13/08/22
Until Next Time, SM.