AFC Wimbledon v Sunderland
Sky Bet League One
Kick-Off: 1.00pm - Saturday 16th January 2021
TV/Stream: Full live match coverage available via www.safc.com
Radio: Full live match commentary available via BBC Newcastle (not online)
After reaching the quarter-final of the Papa John’s Trophy in midweek at the Stadium of Light, Sunderland are back on their travels in League One with a first ever trip to AFC Wimbledon’s new home at Plough Lane.
Going into the fixture after three successive draws, Lee Johnson will be looking at the trip as a chance to pick up all three points with the hosts currently sitting in the relegation zone. Despite only recording one win in the last five, Sunderland are still sitting three points behind the play-off positions and a good run of form would see us back in contention.
AFC Wimbledon are currently looking on course for another battle against relegation from League One this term. After experiencing close shaves in the past two seasons, there was hope that the move to the new stadium could potentially prove to be the catalyst to make the annual surviving act a thing of the past.
After getting off to a decent start this term, Glyn Hodges young side have particularly felt the impact of COVID-19 where illness and the resulting fixture backlog have proved difficult to navigate for The Dons.
Four defeats in the last five in League One suggest that AFC Wimbledon aren’t looking in the best shape coming into the fixture but a ten day break from League action followed by a victory over Bristol Rovers in the Papa John’s Trophy could be a sign of improvement at Plough Lane - and a potential banana skin for Lee Johnson to overcome.
Sunderland Team News
Dion Sanderson and new signing Carl Winchester are available again after being cup-tied for the midweek EFL Trophy tie against Port Vale so it will be interesting how Lee Johnson’s sets up at the back and the part Winchester will play. Max Power may continue at right-back, which may depend on how Jordan Willis coped with the run out during the
Another question mark would be upfront where the manager has some decisions to make. Does he make changes to the personnel behind Charlie Wyke, or will the striker be the one to make way?
Hume and O’Nien are still unavailable with long term issues and Conor McLaughlin is also ruled out due to a hernia. Lee Burge may also be unavailable with the knock suffered in midweek, with Matthews possibly ready to come in.
Possible XI: Burge, Sanderson, Willis, Wright, McFadzean, Leadbitter, Winchester, Scowen, Diamond, McGeady, O’Brien
AFC Wimbledon Team News
With injuries and the longer term impact of COVID taking it’s toll, Glyn Hodges has been shuffling his pack recently depending on who is available.
Expect emergency loan goalkeeper Sam Walker to be between the sticks after he joined from Reading this week to make his debut in the EFL Trophy. Look out for Ryan Longman in midfield who has impressed for the Dons after joining from Brighton on loan last summer.
Possible XI: Walker, Kalambayi, Nightingale, Csoka, McLoughlin, Woodyard, Hartigan, Reilly, Guinness-Walker, Longman, Pigott
Last Time We Met... at AFC Wimbledon
Saturday 25th August 2018:
Sky Bet League One
AFC Wimbledon 1 - 2 Sunderland (Pigott 9’ - Cattermole 66’, 83’)
Sunderland: J. McLaughlin, Love, Loovens (Ozturk), Baldwin, James (Oviedo), Honeyman, Cattermole, Power (McGeouch), Gooch, Maguire, Maja Substitute not used: Ruiter, Mumba, Embleon, O’Nien
AFC Wimbledon: King, Sibbick, Purrington, Wordsworth, Nightingale, Oshilaja, Pinnock (Wagstaff), Trotter, Hanson, Pigott, Barcham (Garratt) Substitute not used: McDonnell, Thomas, McDonald, Hartigan, Burey
Played for Both...
(AFC Wimbledon only)
Republic of Ireland international David Connolly was instrumental in Roy Keane’s title winning side in 2006-07 ending of top scorer. Played for the original Wimbledon between 2001-2003 and ended his career with AFC Wimbledon in 2015.
The former England U20 international went out on loan from Sunderland to AFC Wimbledon in 2012, making twenty appearances in the process.
Current striker Charlie Wyke had a loan spell at AFC Wimbledon when he joined in 2014 from Middlesbrough, scoring three goals in seventeen games.
Head to Head... Sunderland at AFC Wimbledon
(AFC Wimbledon only)
In all competitions...
Sunderland wins: 1
AFC Wimbledon wins: 1
Goals for Sunderland: 3
Goals for AFC Wimbledon: 3
The bookies appear to be focusing on the current League table and still see Sunderland as clear favourites at 4/5 for an away win, with a home victory priced at 15/4, and the draw at 12/5.
Charlie Wyke is once again favourite to open the scoring for Sunderland at 7/2, closely followed by Chris Maguire at 9/2 with Jack Diamond and Aiden O’Brien at 11/2.
A 1-0 Sunderland win is the shortest correct score at 9/2, and if you fancy yet another 1-1 draw for the Lads, it is on offer at 5/1.
I get the feeling with the recent break AFC Wimbledon have recharged the batteries after a brutal schedule leading up to the festive period.
They will be looking forward to the likes of Sunderland visiting their new home for the first time and will look to make it an awkward afternoon for Lee Johnson’s side.
Considering our recent run, the smart money might be on the draw.
AFC Wimbledon 1 - 1 Sunderland