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AFC Wimbledon (A) match preview

13 December 2019

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Rovers travel to face AFC Wimbledon in Sky Bet League One this weekend.

Darren Moore’s side battled to a 1-1 draw against MK Dons at the Keepmoat Stadium last time out.
 
Wimbledon’s league form
 
The Dons’ campaign started with consecutive defeats against Rotherham United and Fleetwood Town respectively, before they picked up their first point of the season in a 1-1 draw at home to Accrington Stanley. The first month of the season proved to be a tough one and they would claim just one more point after playing out a goalless draw with Wycombe Wanderers.
 
Their poor start to the season continued into September where they picked up just a solitary point in Sky Bet League One. That came against Shrewsbury while they went down to defeats against the likes of MK Dons, Coventry, Bristol Rovers and Peterborough. They had to wait until October 5 for their first three points of the campaign, and it came against Rochdale when a dominant first-half display saw them score three goals in the opening 45 minutes - eventually winning the game 3-2.
 
That kick-started their season and set them on their way to three straight league victories, as they followed up the Rochdale win by beating Southend United and Portsmouth, before being beaten at Burton Albion in their final game in October. Prior to their first round draw with Rovers on November 5, The Dons drew 1-1 against Lincoln City, before their defeat to Blackpool last time out.
 
The Dons reacted well to a 2-0 defeat at the Keepmoat Stadium on November 19, as they beat Gillingham 1-0 at the Cherry Red Records Stadium four days later. Their last game saw them denied another victory by a last gasp Bolton leveller, with the game finishing 2-2 in Sky Bet League One.
 
Who’s the gaffer?
 
Glyn Hodges replaced Wally Downes as permanent Wimbledon manager in October after a successful spell in caretaker charge of the club. Prior to that he was the club’s assistant manager and helped them survive relegation last season.
 
Ones to watch
 
Nathan Trott
 
The young goalkeeper joined the Dons on loan from Premier League side West Ham United in the summer, and was immediately handed the No.1 jersey at the club. After being raised in Bermuda, Trott joined the Hammers after a successful trial in 2016, and after committing his international future to England he was part of the squad that won the UEFA European U19 Championship in June 2017. He has represented the England U20s six times, making his debut against Holland the same year, and he was recently included in the Three Lions squad for the U21 Toulon tournament. He has been a regular for West Ham’s U23s and has appeared for them in the EFL Trophy.
 
Paul Osew
 
Osew signed his first professional contract with the club in the summer after graduating through the youth system. The versatile 19-year-old is equally as comfortable at left-back or on the left side of midfield, with his pace offering an outlet in an attacking sense down the flank. He has already made nine starts in his breakthrough season at the club.
 
Michael Forss
 
The young Finnish striker joined the Dons in September on a season-long loan from Sky Bet Championship side Brentford. Having moved to England in 2015, Forss joined the academy at West Bromwich Albion, making two appearances in the EFL Trophy before his Scholarship came to an end. He then joined Brentford’s B team and scored 23 goals in the 2017/18 campaign and last season saw himself named in several of the Bees’ matchday squads. He signed a new deal at Griffin Park prior to his loan move and has hit the ground running with nine goals already this season as he looks to help the Dons consolidate further in the third tier.
 
Who’s the ref?
 
Nick Kinseley will be the man in the middle when Rovers travel to AFC Wimbledon this weekend, and you can find out more about him here.
 
Last time out
 
Rovers came out on top when the two sides last met less than a month ago. Goals from James Coppinger and Rakish Bingham secured a 2-0 victory for Darren Moore’s side in the Emirates FA Cup first round replay at the Keepmoat Stadium.

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