MK go cherry picking
Bournemouth host Milton Keynes Dons in the first round of the League Cup this Saturday, commencing the 2021/22 season for English Football League clubs. Scott Parker is the new man in the dugout at the Vitality Stadium, looking to achieve promotion to the Premier League for the second time in his managerial career. Amidst rumours linking him to the Swansea City vacancy Russell Martin is likely to lead MK into battle in this one, a good opportunity to test themselves against a superior side in preparation to launch an assault on the top six places in League One this term.
MK made the headlines consistently last term with their easy on the eye possession based style of play, making Martin an attractive prospect for the Swans. With Matthew Sorinola, Ben Gladwin and Cameron Jerome exiting, MK have bolstered their squad with Scott Twine, Josh Martin and Mo Eisa. Twine is a tricky forward, able to occupy any role behind a main frontman with deadly long range shooting ability. Josh Martin joins on loan from Norwich City having made a few impressive contributions as they won the Championship title last season and Mo Eisa has signed following his release from Peterborough United where he showed flashes of a top quality League One goalscorer.
Play-off final hero Emiliano Marcondes has signed for Bournemouth after being let go by Brentford despite contributing heavily in their promotion, taunting the Cherries themselves at the semi final stage. David Brooks remains and seems committed to another season of second tier grind, as does Philip Billing who realised a transformative move to attacking midfield last term and will be looking to kick on as he enters the prime years of his career.
This is a difficult one to predict, slightly unsure of how seriously each manager will take the competition, unsurprisingly Bournemouth have much greater strength depth meaning if both sides opt for a second string, they will have the upper hand. Bournemouth was mesmerising in attack at points last season but were not resolute at the back to see them compete for automatic promotion, a bid that should have been realised with the quality of the squad.
The Cherries should get over the line here but MK are more than capable of causing problems, therefore I am taking a goals angle.