A look ahead to MK Dons' BSM Trophy clash with Brighton U21s
A spot in the last 16 is in the offing when MK Dons take on Brighton's youngsters at Stadium MK on Tuesday night (kick-off 7pm).
After booking their spot in the first knock-out round, the sides will cross paths for the third time this evening. Both sides have claimed one victory apiece, with the last meeting coming in November 2018.
Dons progressed to this stage with a 100 per cent record, beating Chelsea U21s, Oxford United and Northampton Town, while Brighton meanwhile finished second in their group after being Walsall, losing to Shrewsbury on penalties before beating group winners Forest Green Rovers on penalties.
Both Mike Williamson and former Dons boss Graham Alexander used the competition to give game-time to fringe and youth team players, and tonight's game is likely to see the home side take the same approach, keeping the first-team regulars fresh for Saturday's important League Two game at Field Mill against fourth placed Mansfield Town.
Dons will be without star of their BSM Trophy previous outing though, with defender Charlie Waller now on loan with Banbury United, while Brooklyn Ilunga too is out at Wealdstone - deals which came about in the aftermath of their win over Northampton.
Referee Neil Hair will take charge of the game. In his 11 games this term, he has flashed 39 yellows and a red card. Dons fans last saw him back in October 2022, in the 2-0 win over Charlton Athletic at The Valley. Ryan Williams and Jacob Lehane will run the lines with fourth official Ryan Atkin.
Bookmakers have MK Dons at 17/20 to progress into the last 16, with Brighton U21s at 23/10, while the draw (which would send the game to a penalty shoot-out) is 14/5.