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Jul 31, 2021 at 3pm UK
MK DonsMK Dons
Brooks (35', 83'), Solanke (47'), Billing (72'), Marcelo de Jesus Alves (80')
Solanke (73'), Zemura (88')
FT(HT: 1-0)

Kasumu (60'), Harvie (62'), O'Hora (75'), Darling (87')

Preview: Bournemouth vs. MK Dons - prediction, team news, lineups

:Headline: Preview: Bournemouth vs. MK Dons - prediction, team news, lineups:
Sports Mole previews Saturday's EFL Cup clash between Bournemouth and MK Dons, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
Sports Mole

Bournemouth and MK Dons square off in the EFL Cup first round on Saturday afternoon as the 2021-22 campaign officially gets underway.

The Cherries are playing their first competitive match since losing in last season's Championship playoff semi-finals, while the visitors finished in 13th position in League One.

Match preview

Having only been confirmed as Bournemouth's new manager at the end of last month, it has been a whirlwind four weeks for former Fulham boss Scott Parker.

A pre-season trip to Marbella brought mixed results on the pitch with a 4-2 victory over Linense being followed by a 2-1 defeat at the hands of Granada.

However, the Cherries gave a good account of themselves versus Chelsea earlier this week, initially leading the European champions before succumbing during the closing 20 minutes.

There has been much talk of Bournemouth needing to sell at least one of their stars before the end of the summer transfer window, but the senior departures have been limited to Asmir Begovic, Diego Rico and Jack Wilshere.

The addition of former Brentford playmaker Emiliano Marcondes could prove key, while versatile defender Leif Davis has a point to prove after signing on a season-long loan from Leeds United.

Such as been Russell Martin's impact at MK Dons that the former centre-back has recently been linked with the vacant managerial position at Swansea City.

The 35-year-old has reportedly turned down the opportunity to move to the Liberty Stadium, and that decision can only benefit MK Dons in the long run as they bid to return to the Championship.

Martin's squad concluded their pre-season campaign with a 3-1 defeat against a strong Tottenham Hotspur side in midweek, a result which came on the back of losing to Bristol City by the same scoreline.

Nevertheless, with the likes of Josh Martin and Mohamed Eisa having arrived from Norwich City and Peterborough United respectively, supporters are optimistic that this group of players can challenge for the League One playoffs.

Bournemouth pre-season friendlies form:
  • W
  • L
  • L

MK Dons pre-season friendlies form:
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • L
  • L

Team News

Parker could potentially name the same Bournemouth XI from the game with Chelsea, handing opportunities to youngsters Zeno Ibsen Rossi and Kyle Taylor.

Davis is expected to feature in the squad after his move from Leeds, but Steve Cook misses out after a setback in his recovery from a knee problem.

Arnaut Danjuma is also likely to miss out through injury, while Jaidon Anthony will only feature if he has had a cast placed on a broken wrist.

Martin may select the majority of the players which started the friendly with Spurs on Tuesday evening.

Despite his goal as a substitute, John Freeman will be selected among the replacements, but Canaries loanee Martin is pushing for a start.

Bournemouth possible starting lineup:
Travers; Stacey, Ibsen Rossi, Kelly, Smith; Marcondes, Kilkenny, Billing; Brooks, Solanke, Taylor

MK Dons possible starting lineup:
Ravizzoli; Watson, Baldwin, O'Hora, Harvie, Darling, O'Riley, Kasumu, Twine, Eisa, Watters, Harvie

We say: Bournemouth 3-1 MK Dons

With this game marking the start of each club's season, it is difficult to predict a result with any degree of certainty. Nevertheless, providing that Bournemouth play their strongest possible side, everything points to a comfortable win for the home team.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting under 3.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Under 3.5:data

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