It’s a return to Papa John’s Trophy action for Southampton’s B team on Wednesday night, with a visit to League One side MK Dons.
MK Dons vs Saints B
Papa John’s Trophy
Wednesday 11th November, 7pm GMT
It’s Saints’ third outing in the competition this season, having faced Northampton and Stevenage already in Group K.
Both games ended in defeat for Dave Horseman’s side but with contrasting results; Saints will have felt frustrated to lose 2-1 very late on to Stevenage on matchday one in September, before being humbled 5-0 away at Northampton Town at the start of October.
Wednesday’s hosts have had the perfect start to the competition, despite struggling domestically where they find themselves 19th in the division.
On match day one they beat fellow League One side Northampton Town 3-1 at Stadium MK, before netting a late winner through Jay Bird away at Stevenage in a 3-2 win second time out.
Saints have lost just once to MK Dons in each of their seven meetings, winning all of the other six games.
Their last meeting in this competition came in January 2010, where a solitary Michael Antonio first-half goal was enough for first leg victory for visiting Saints in the semi-final.
Across all competitions the last meeting came in the League Cup third round in 2015, where Saints scored six with no reply at Stadium MK.
Jay Rodriquez, Sadio Mané and Shane Long each scored twice as Ronald Koeman’s side progressed with ease.
IN FOCUS: DAN N’LUNDULU
Saints, and in particular Dan N’Lundulu, will be in a confident mood ahead of Wednesday night after the forward scored a superb Premier League 2 hat-trick on Saturday afternoon.
Following the 5-2 win over Manchester City, the striker looked ahead to Wednesday’s game:
“It will be a challenging game. MK Dons are a good team, they’re in League One. I’m looking forward to it.
“It will be a good test and hopefully the boys can show up.”
Dave Horseman similar was in a positive mood following Saturday’s impressive PL2 win, but is looking forward to yet another challenge for his side coming up.
“It’s another tough game. They may have even qualified out of the group already. Good League One team and I assume they’re going to be putting out a strong team.
“That’s the challenge these boys need, that’s what the EFL Trophy gives us. They’ll be slightly different to the two opponents we’ve played so far.
“I think they’re really slick in their build-up; I know their assistant manager quite well so that will be a really tough game.
“Hopefully some more valuable minutes for these boys meaning if they’re ever needed in the first team they’re ready for it.”