AFC Wimbledon vs Brentford
Cherry Red Records Stadium
Carabao Cup First Round
After promotion to the third tier for the first-time ever in May 2016, The Dons enjoyed an impressive first season in Sky Bet League One, flirting with the Play-offs for much of the first-half of the campaign, before a run of just four wins in 20 after Christmas saw Neal Ardley's side finish the season in 15th place.
The Dons main transfer dealings over the summer saw former Bee Jake Reeves head to Bradford City for an undisclosed fee, while Tom Elliott, Dominic Poleon, Tyrone Barnett, and Chris Whelpdale also departed. In their place came Bolton midfielder Liam Trotter, Leyton Orient defender Callum Kennedy, plus the striking duo of Cody MacDonald and Kwesi Appiah while Millwall midfielder Nadjim Abdou and Sheffield United goalkeeper George Long agreed loan moves.
Saturday's 1-1 opening day draw at Scunthorpe United came at a cost with goalscorer Abdou and Trotter both picking up injuries that rule them out of tonight's game. Tom Soares and Lyle Taylor have both been struggling in recent weeks but could feature tonight at the Cherry Red Records Stadium while former Bee Darius Charles is definitely out with a knee-injury.
Neal Ardley is a true Dons legend, having spent 11 years playing for Wimbledon before returning to manage AFC in 2012. The midfielder came through the ranks before going on to make 301 appearances during a decade-long stay in South London. Neal left Wimbledon in 2002, playing for Watford, Cardiff, and Millwall before retiring in 2007 with close to 500 professional appearances to his name.
On the day that he announced his retirement, Neal took a coaching job with the Cardiff City Academy, staying there for five years before returning to Wimbledon to take the managers job in October 2012. He ensured survival in League Two during his first three seasons in charge and then led AFC to promotion at Wembley, a little over a year ago.
Approaching his fifth anniversary in charge, Neal is fifth on the list of longest-serving Premier League and EFL managers.
Ticket and Travel News
Tickets for the match will be available from the turnstiles at The Cherry Red Records Stadium, cash only, tonight priced at:
Senior/Student Full-Time with ID £10
Under 18 £5
Supporters are advised to leave extra time to get to tonight's game due to roadworks around the ground and engineering work on trains services. Click here to read our Away Day Guide.
iFollow Brentford will be live from 7.15pm with Mark Burridge and Marcus Gayle bringing live commentary from The Cherry Red Records Stadium.
Make sure you download the Official Brentford FC App and get notifications direct to your phone, plus all the latest news, views, and reaction from tonight's game.