Preview: MK Dons vs. Leicester City

Leicester City will be bidding to book their spot in the quarter-finals of the EFL Cup when they take on League One outfit MK Dons on Tuesday night.

The Foxes have beaten Stockport County and Newport County to advance to this stage of the competition, while MK Dons have navigated their way past Sutton United, Watford and Morecambe.

Match preview

MK Dons' Dean Lewington pictured in January 2021

Unlike Leicester, MK Dons have not had a break in their season for the World Cup, so the home side will be in better shape in terms of match rhythm heading into this contest.

Liam Manning was sacked as head coach on December 11 following a disappointing start to the season, with long-serving defender Dean Lewington currently in charge on an interim basis.

Lewington has been at the helm for two matches – the 4-1 defeat to Bristol Rovers on December 13, in addition to the 2-0 success at Portsmouth in the league on Saturday.

MK Dons are currently 22nd in the League One table, having picked up just 18 points from their 21 matches during a disappointing start to the campaign.

However, the Dons have been in impressive form in the EFL Cup this season, beating Sutton, Watford and Morecambe without conceding a goal, and they will now be looking to claim a Premier League scalp in the shape of Leicester.

 Leicester City manager Brendan Rodgers acknowledges fans after the match on April 10, 2022

Leicester, meanwhile, have had to win twice to reach this round of the EFL Cup, overcoming Stockport on penalties before recording a 3-0 victory over Newport County last time out.

Brendan Rodgers’s side have not been in competitive action since a 2-0 success over West Ham United in the Premier League on November 12, which moved them into 13th position in the table.

There is no getting away from the fact that it has been a tough season for the Foxes to date, but they won their three matches ahead of the break for the World Cup, which also included a league success at Everton.

Leicester had seven players in action at the 2022 World Cup, with James Maddison, Wout Faes, Youri Tielemans, Timothy Castagne, Daniel Amartey, Nampalys Mendy and Danny Ward involved at the competition, but all seven could be available for this contest.

The Foxes have actually won the League Cup on three occasions, with their last success coming back in 2000, overcoming Tranmere Rovers in the final of the competition.

Team News

 Leicester City's Jamie Vardy celebrates after the match on March 1, 2022

Dons interim head coach Lewington will have been delighted with what he saw against Portsmouth on Saturday, but the team have another huge league game against Forest Green Rovers on Boxing Day, so there are likely to be changes for this match.

It would not be a surprise to see the same side that lined up against Morecambe in the last round of the competition, with a 3-4-3 formation involving Mohamed Eisa at centre-forward.

Dons are also expected to have Conor Grant and Darragh Burns in their starting side.

Leicester boss Rodgers, meanwhile, will certainly have one eye on the Premier League clash with Newcastle United on December 26, so the Foxes are not expected to be at full strength.

James Justin, Ricardo Pereira, Caglar Soyuncu and Ryan Bertrand will all miss the contest through injury.

However, the likes of Marc Albrighton, Harvey Barnes and Jamie Vardy could start, with the trio refreshed, having not been involved at the 2022 World Cup.

MK Dons possible starting lineup:
Cumming; Tucker, O’Hora, Jules; Watson, Johnson, Robson, Lawrence; Burns, Eisa, Grant

Leicester City possible starting lineup:
Iversen; Amartey, Evans, Faes, Thomas; Soumare, Ndidi; Perez, Albrighton, Barnes; Vardy

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