Bournemouth open the curtains on the 2021-22 Carabao Cup as Scott Parker’s Cherries host MK Dons at Vitaly Stadium in a Round One tie.
With First Round ties allowed to be spread across this weekend and midweek of 10-11 August, Bournemouth have the unique honour of kicking off this season’s edition at home against MK Dons three years on from their only previous meeting in this competition.
Chris Mepham is ruled out for Bournemouth through suspension after being sent off at Brentford in the second leg of their Championship Play-Off semi-final.
New loan signing, Leif Davis is ruled out with a knock and joins Arnaut Danjuma (unspecified), Lewis Cook, Steve Cook (both knee), Ben Pearson (illness) and Jefferson Lerma (suspension) on the sidelines.
Junior Stanislas (fitness) and Jaidon Anthony (wrist) are set to be in contention, although both players could be named amongst the substitutes rather than starting eleven.
MK Dons will be without Josh McEachran following a bout of Coronavirus which will keep the midfielder out for a few weeks.
Andrew Fisher is also absent after suffering a foot injury against Maidenhead in a pre-season friendly earlier this month.
- Bournemouth won their only previous League Cup tie against MK Dons 3-0 at home, which came in Second Round of 2018-19 edition.
- MK Dons’ First Round exit to Coventry City last season was the earliest that the Dons had exited the competition in last 11 seasons.
- Bournemouth have failed to advance from Round One in six of last nine seasons in which they entered at this stage of the competition.
- MK Dons have lost just one of their last five away ties in this competition (W3, D1, L1).
- Bournemouth are unbeaten in their last seven League Cup home matches (W5, D2), despite needing penalties in their last two such matches at Vitality Stadium after goalless draws.
Bournemouth come into this season under new management of Scott Parker and have done a great job so far of retaining key players like David Brooks and Dominic Solanke, who will certainly be chasing a starting spot in our first competitive glimpse of the Cherries under Parker’s reign.
MK Dons meanwhile have lost their seven top goalscorers of last season as some returned to parent clubs whilst others departed, so this is could well be a tough tie for a League One team which looks short on firepower up front.
On that note, I wouldn’t be surprised if Bournemouth romp to a comfortable home win although defending hasn’t been the Cherries’ strongest point in pre-season, which could allow a conceded goal or two depending on whether Parker goes for a strong or inexperienced line-up ahead of the new league season.
Prediction: Bournemouth 3-0 MK Dons
Result: Bournemouth 5-0 MK Dons