MX23RW : Sunday, December 5 11:58:37| >> :600:218458:218458:
Oct 16, 2021 at 3pm UK at The Cherry Red Records Stadium
AFC WimbledonAFC Wimbledon
2-2
Sheff WedsSheffield Wednesday
Guinness-Walker (67'), Rudoni (85')
FT(HT: 0-1)
Gregory (13', 61' pen.)
Dunkley (27'), Brown (90+4')

Preview: AFC Wimbledon vs. Sheffield Wednesday - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Saturday's League One clash between AFC Wimbledon and Sheffield Wednesday, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Following three wins from their last four games, Sheffield Wednesday seek to continue some improved form on Saturday, as they travel to meet AFC Wimbledon at Plough Lane.

While the Owls have edged closer to the playoff positions with that recent upturn in fortunes, their hosts have slid down the League One standings after a winless run of five matches in all competitions.


Match preview

Sheffield Wednesday's Callum Paterson celebrates scoring their second goal on September 28, 2021© Reuters

Though Sheffield Wednesday are attempting to return to the Championship at the first time of asking next spring, their status as one of the biggest fish in the third-tier pond has made them vulnerable to plucky underdogs, such as Morecambe and Oxford United, this term.

In fact, Darren Moore's men had won only once in their last five League One matches before a 2-1 victory over Mansfield in the EFL Trophy - when Florian Kamberi's stoppage-time strike helped secure the win - and last weekend's subsequent success against Bolton Wanderers.

Despite playing second fiddle for much of the match at Hillsborough, former Stoke striker Lee Gregory scored the only goal of the game to give Wednesday a 1-0 victory - just their second in seven league games.

Up to a respectable ninth place as a result, they sit five points ahead of their opponents this Saturday, who have not yet hosted the South Yorkshire side since their spectacular implosion almost 20 years ago.

Under pressure to deliver the club back to where they believe they belong, former West Brom defender Moore has organised his team well defensively, as only Wigan have conceded fewer league goals than Wednesday so far. Therefore, they should prove a tough nut to crack for the home side, who are enduring a particularly sticky patch at the moment.

AFC Wimbledon's Ollie Palmer pictured in April 2021© Reuters

Having lost their previous four matches before welcoming Burton to Plough Lane a fortnight ago, Wimbledon finally managed to stop the rot through a last-gasp intervention from Luke McCormick, who equalised in the 90th minute for the South London side.

Now sitting 15th in the table, Mark Robinson's men have since had the luxury of two weeks to prepare for the visit of one of the division's most high-profile clubs, so will hope to build on their escape from a potential fifth straight loss.

In stark contrast to Sheffield Wednesday, though, defending has been a concern for Robinson during the opening phase of the current campaign, with only two teams conceding more than his side so far, as they have leaked a worrying total of 19 league goals.

After pulling off a superb survival act to avoid relegation last season, the Wombles are once again relying on several players - such as Paul Kalambayi and Ayoub Assal - who progressed through the club's academy under the current senior management team.

To prevent the same youngsters being required to fight a similar relegation battle this term, Wimbledon will surely have to shore up their brittle back four - particularly in testing games such as Saturday's.

AFC Wimbledon League One form:
  • W
  • W
  • L
  • L
  • L
  • D

AFC Wimbledon form (all competitions):
  • W
  • L
  • L
  • L
  • L
  • D

Sheffield Wednesday League One form:
  • L
  • D
  • D
  • W
  • L
  • W

Sheffield Wednesday form (all competitions):
  • D
  • D
  • W
  • L
  • W
  • W



Team News

Sheffield Wednesday manager Darren Moore pictured on March 6, 2021© Reuters

Sheffield Wednesday boss Darren Moore has been dealt a double blow by receiving news that both Lewis Gibson and Sam Hutchinson will be sidelined this weekend. The pair started versus Bolton at Hillsborough last time out, but were withdrawn at the interval after sustaining injuries.

In addition, Massimo Luongo - who is now nearing recovery from an injury that has kept him out since August - and George Byers, absent for the last five matches, have also been ruled out once more.

Therefore, Lewis Wing and Dennis Adeniran are likely to play a part at Plough Lane, with the latter in line to start in midfield, alongside Barry Bannan.

Last week's front pair, Saido Berahino and Lee Gregory, have competition from Florian Kamberi to feature at the sharp end of Moore's 3-5-2 formation.

Wimbledon, meanwhile, are waiting patiently for Ollie Palmer to prove his fitness after a calf issue which has kept him out of action this month, but young centre-back Paul Kalambayi - who has been on the treatment table since suffering a quad strain in early September - is expected to return to the starting XI.

Should Palmer not be ready in time, Brentford loanee Aaron Pressley would lead the line for the home side in his absence, with support from winger Ayoub Assal.

AFC Wimbledon possible starting lineup:
Tzanev; Alexander, Nightingale, Kalambayi, Lawrence; Hartigan, Woodyard, McCormick; Assal, Pressley, Rudoni

Sheffield Wednesday possible starting lineup:
Peacock-Farrell; Palmer, Iorfa, Gibson; Hunt, Adeniran, Bannan, Paterson, Brown; Berahino, Gregory


SM words green background

We say: AFC Wimbledon 1-3 Sheffield Wednesday

As a strong defensive unit comes up against one of League One's leakiest rearguards on Saturday, it is likely that Sheffield Wednesday will take the points back up north at the final whistle, as they can exploit Wimbledon's weaknesses.

Even a couple of weeks to work out what has been going wrong for the Wombles will not be enough to turn things around, and Mark Robinson's side should slip to another dispiriting defeat.



Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting a double chance bet on a home win or an away win in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Home/Away:data


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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Rotherham UnitedRotherham19115334132138
2Wigan AthleticWigan18122434161838
3Wycombe WanderersWycombe2011543223938
4Plymouth ArgylePlymouth20106433221136
5Sunderland1911353124736
6MK Dons19104537241334
7Oxford UnitedOxford Utd1996430191133
8Sheffield WednesdaySheff Weds208932821733
9Portsmouth209562622432
10Burton Albion208482223-128
11Ipswich TownIpswich207673630627
12Cheltenham TownCheltenham197662630-427
13Accrington StanleyAccrington208392837-927
14Bolton WanderersBolton207582929026
15Charlton AthleticCharlton206592627-123
16Cambridge UnitedCambridge205872735-823
17AFC Wimbledon185672630-421
18Lincoln CityLincoln195682024-421
19Shrewsbury TownShrewsbury1954101825-719
20Morecambe1954102937-819
21Gillingham203891627-1117
22Fleetwood TownFleetwood1936103139-815
23Doncaster RoversDoncaster1934121134-2313
24Crewe AlexandraCrewe2026121736-1912

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