MK Dons v Swans: The big talking points

21st August 2017
First team

​​​​​​​The Swans are in Carabao Cup action on Tuesday night as they face a tricky trip to MK Dons.

Here are all the key talking points heading into this second-round tie.

 

TUESDAY MOTIVATION

There are often questions when the League Cup comes around about how keen Premier League clubs will be to progress.

But Paul Clement has made it clear he wants a victory at Stadium mk as the Swans boss looks for a confidence-booster ahead of Saturday’s Premier League game at Crystal Palace.

Clement’s men began the season with a decent draw at Southampton, although they did not play particularly well that day.

There were more positives in the performance against Manchester United at the weekend, but Jose Mourinho’s team scored three goals as the Swans chased the game late on to give the scoreline an ugly look.

A first win of the season, albeit one in the cup, would be a lift.

But nothing is likely to come easily against an MK Dons side who will be hungry for a scalp.

CRACK AT THE CUP?

Clement has suggested he likes the idea of a run in the competition the Swans won so memorably back in 2013.

Certainly, the Jack Army would savour another long adventure in what is now called the Carabao Cup.

Since Bradford City were beaten at Wembley four-and-a-half years ago, there has not been a great deal to shout about in this competition.

As holders, the Swans fell at the first hurdle in 2013-14 when they lost at Birmingham City.

In the following season, Rotherham and Everton were beaten before a somewhat unfortunate exit at Liverpool.

The 2015-16 campaign saw the Swans ease past York City before losing at Hull, while Peterborough were beaten at this stage last term before Manchester City triumphed at the Liberty in round three.

CLEMENT’S CALL

It is not easy to gauge how many changes Clement might make for the cup given that his only knockout game as Swans boss to date, at Hull in the FA Cup back in January, was the first time he had picked the team.

He has indicated that there will be some alterations to the XI which began against Manchester United but not many.

Among the players hoping for an opportunity will be Kristoffer Nordfeldt, Angel Rangel, Mike van der Hoorn, Jay Fulton, Luciano Narsingh and Oli McBurnie.

HELLO JOE

The Swans will be reunited with a product of their youth system in the shape of MK Dons defender Joe Walsh.

Cardiff-born Walsh joined the Swans as a teenager, and played for the first team in the League Cup in 2010-11 and 2011-12.

Released in 2012, Walsh established himself at Crawley Town before landing a move to Milton Keynes in 2015.

Now 25, he was a key player for the club last season and has just signed a new three-year deal.

He has also spent time with the senior Wales squad, although he is yet to win a cap.

DO WELL AGAINST THE DONS?

The cup draw has thrown up what will be only the fifth meeting of the Swans and the MK Dons.

There were two in League One back in 2005-06, the year the Swans were beaten by Barnsley in the play-off final.

Kenny Jackett’s team twice beat the Dons 3-1, thanks to goals from Lee Trundle and Andy Robinson (two) away from home and a Leon Knight hat-trick at the Liberty.

The next encounter was in the area final of the 2007-08 Football League Trophy.

Roberto Martinez’s team lost the home leg 1-0, then won 1-0 in the return thanks to a Jason Scotland spot-kick but lost a penalty shootout.