The story of the evening as Sunderland progress into Papa John's Trophy semi-final with MK Dons victory
Sunderland are back in action this evening – and we’ll be bringing you a live stream of updates from the Papa John’s Trophy clash with MK Dons.
It was a busy transfer deadline day for the Black Cats as they saw three players head out the door, but the focus now turns back to the on-field action.
And with Wembley now just two games away, Lee Johnson is keen to see his side progress in the Papa John’s Trophy.
Tonight’s quarter-final tie with MK Dons is the next step on that journey, and it’s a game which could see the Wearsiders hand debuts to two of their latest signings.
So scroll down and refresh the page throughout the evening as we bring you in-depth coverage from stadium:mk, with our team of Phil Smith and Mark Donnelly ready to bring you a live stream of updates, analysis, insight and reaction throughout the night:
RECAP: MK Dons 0-3 Sunderland AFC (Lewington OG 12, McGeady 76, Wyke 82)
Last updated: Tuesday, 02 February, 2021, 17:37
- Sunderland travel to MK Dons this evening in the quarter finals of the Papa John’s Trophy (6:30pm kick-off)
- Lee Johnson is set to rotate his side amid a busy schedule in League One.
- Jordan Jones makes his debut tonight.
- Sunderland XI: Matthews; Power, Willis (Younger 60), Flanagan, McFadzean (Neil 26); Scowen (Leadbitter 60), O’Nien; Diamond, Jones (McGeady 60); O’Brien (Wyke 60), Gooch
And welcome to our live match day blog!
We’ve shaken off the tiredness from yesterday’s late night and we’re back, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, ready to bring you updates from stadium:mk.
Sunderland are now just two games away from a Wembley return and will face League One rivals MK Dons tonight - before also facing the Dons on Saturday in the league.
We could see a couple of debuts tonight, so let’s dive straight into the build-up…
A deadline day recap...
It was a busy day at the Academy of Light yesterday, in terms of outgoings anyway.
Here’s a recap of what happened at Sunderland on Deadline Day:
- The contract of striker Danny Graham was ended by mutual consent, leaving the experienced frontman free to explore other opportunities.
- Elliot Embleton signed a new contract at the club, keeping him on Wearside until 2022 - and then headed out on loan to Blackpool.
- MK Dons sealed a deal for Will Grigg, who departs Sunderland on loan until the end of the season.
Wembley is now just two games away!
Win tonight and Sunderland will be in the semi-finals of the Papa John’s Trophy - and just a game away from a return to Wembley.
All the other quarter-final ties are being played tonight. Here’s who’s in action:
- Oxford United v AFC Wimbledon
- Tranmere Rovers v Peterborough United
- Hull City v Lincoln City
For reference, the final is currently set to be played on Sunday, March 14.
A host of Sunderland players are cup-tied tonight
Lee Johnson is expected to rotate his side tonight, but won’t be able to call upon the services of three players - all of whom are cup-tied.
Dion Sanderson turned out for Wolves U23s in this competition earlier in the season, while Carl Winchester also played for Forest Green Rovers in previous rounds.
And new signing Jake Vokins also can’t play, having featured for Southampton U23s in the Papa John’s Trophy during the current campaign.
Can Will Grigg play tonight?
The striker swapped Sunderland for MK Dons yesterday - but won’t be able to play against his former club.
While MK Dons have confirmed that the terms of Grigg’s deal means he can’t play against his parent club, the striker is cup-tied anyway.
Here’s what the bookmakers are saying about tonight’s game
SkyBet have Sunderland as the favourites to advance tonight, with the Black Cats available to be backed at 11/10 to win the tie.
MK Dons are priced at 21/10.
Sunderland also remain joint-favourites to win the competition, with their odds at 10/3 - level with Hull City.
MK Dons have their sights set on Wembley
Russell Martin, MK Dons manager
We want to get to Wembley and win something. We’re close and put a lot of hard work to get to this point of the competition.
We are very light on numbers, we’ve a lot who aren’t available because they are cup-tied, we’ve a few injuries too so it’s going to be a slim squad and people will get a chance to impress.
What’s the latest team news from both camps?
Here’s where both squads stand ahead of the game:
Lee Johnson will likely make changes - but will be without some key men.
Bailey Wright is suspended while Jake Vokins, Carl Winchester and Dion Sanderson are cup-tied.
Conor McLaughlin, Denver Hume and Arbenit Xhemajli remain injured.
Under-23 duo Mitch Curry and Oliver Younger are in contention to travel with the side having missed the Premier League 2 clash at Leeds United yesterday.
The hosts are light on numbers, with a number of players missing.
Charlie Brown, Ethan Laird, Harry Darling, Zak Jules and Will Grigg are all cup-tied, while a host of first-teamers are currently injured.
Kieran Agard, Jay Bird, Jordan Houghton, David Kasumu and Andrew Surman are all set to miss out.
Lee Johnson could hand debuts to a two new signings today
Jordan Jones and Ross Stewart both joined Sunderland last week - and could feature against MK Dons tonight.
Stewart has only recently recovered from an injury though, while Jones hasn’t played a competitive domestic game since November.
Can I stream tonight’s game?
Yes, tonight’s game will be available to stream on safc.com.
Streaming passes can be purchased for £10 on the club’s official website.