Friday, 25 October 2013

PREVIEW: AFC Wimbledon Away (26/10/13)

Oxford are on the road again this weekend and Kingsmeadow is the destination. After two successive 0-0 draws against Accrington and Exeter if we want to keep in touch with the top three a result is a must this weekend. Key to that, of course, will be our ability to score goals. For most of the season it's not been scoring goals that has been our problem but keeping them out. Prior to the last week we were top scorers in the division but had kept just two clean sheets all season. But in the last two games we've seen an unusual reversal of that record as we've been able to keep them out at one end but been unable to find the net at the other.

And that's a problem that has been exacerbated by the absence of Alfie Potter and Deane Smalley, both of whom are likely to miss out once again. Added to that the suspension of Dave Kitson following his sending off on Tuesday and our options up front are looking decidedly limited. It leaves us with James Constable and Tyrone Marsh as our only fit an available strikers while our only designated right winger, Ryan Williams, is unable to play a full 90 minutes.

Picture by Jon Whiles Photography
At the back, even despite the continued absence of Johnny Mullins, we've been in impressive form. Michael Raynes has seized his opportunity to come into the backline and we've looked far more solid as a result. And with Wimbledon struggling for goals lately, expect that to continue this weekend.

Wimbledon are having a rough run of form lately. Having started the season incredibly strongly, their form has since tailed off drastically and they're now without a win in their last five games. Even so, they're predicting on their official website that this match could see a record crowd at Kingsmeadow, with our allocation already sold out. And with the potential return of Andy Frampton and Charlie Sheringham to the Dons team after lengthy absences due to injury, the Wimbledon side we come up against this weekend could be a different proposition to the one which has struggled in recent weeks.

But if our record against Wimbledon since their reformation is anything to go by we needn't be worried. Oxford have won all six of our previous meetings, including an impressive 3-0 win on our last visit. In fact, we put six goals past the Dons last season, having beaten them 3-2 earlier that season at the Kassam, in what was a difficult season for Wimbledon as they narrowly avoided relegation back to the Conference. But that was then, this is now, and after some surprising results throughout the league recently, this one could go either way.

Also This Weekend

The youth team welcome Cheltenham Town to Roman Way in League Cup action on Saturday just two weeks after a 2-0 away win there to go top of the league table. Unfortunately, the match is merely an academic exercise as last weekend's 1-0 defeat to Bournemouth means that we will play no further part in the competition beyond the group stages.

Don't forget you can find full fixture lists for women's, development and youth teams on our Fixtures page!

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