AFC Wimbledon will be aiming to get the better of Bradford City again after picking up six vital points against the Bantams last season, but Simon Bassey expects tonight’s opponents to be a tough nut to crack under new manager David Hopkin.
Wimbledon head into the game on a high after a hard-fought first home victory of the season against Oxford United on Saturday, but Bradford also steadied the ship after a run of league defeats by drawing at home to Bristol Rovers.
Below are quotes from both camps, along with stats, and a recap of previous meetings:
“There has obviously been stuff happening at Bradford over the last few years and they’ve lost quite a few players. It’s always hard when you lose very good players to recruit the same again, without the financial backing. It’s a difficult job, but I am sure David will go in there and put his own stamp on it. I watched quite a lot of Livingston last year and he did a fantastic job there with back to back promotions. We know how they like to play and I’m sure he will get Bradford up and at it.
“Saturday was a real team effort from us. The defence restricted them to very little, but in midfield we were industrious and hard-working. We played from a good shape. It was probably not as expansive as we had been at times this season, but needs must at times. We had gone away from home the week before and we had been sloppy in our transitions, in the stuff that we pride ourselves on. As the manager has alluded to, we worked really hard last week on having that mentality to be hard to beat. We were really pleased with how we came through it, to get that first home win was fantastic.
“The players have recovered well. We’ve been through some bits and pieces with them and we are raring to go. We are looking to get another three points at home, which would set us up for a good away trip after that.”
“We were disappointed to have not picked up three points on Saturday. We took the positives from it, though. It was a clean sheet, an improved result and a further turning point for us. Wimbledon away is always a tough game but every team in this division poses you problems. We will be ready for the challenge and what the game brings.
“We have gained some momentum and we will take it into Tuesday night, in what will be a difficult task. Competition for places is improving, as we have players coming back from injury. We certainly have some options. If you can keep a clean sheet then you always have a chance of winning games. We managed that on Saturday and we will be looking to do that at Wimbledon. Hopefully, the supporters are starting to see a more competitive team - which is getting stronger every week.”
Tonight’s match may come too soon for James Hanson (hamstring injury) to face his former club. Nathaniel Knight-Percival is back in the squad for Bradford and he will be monitored after missing the goalless draw against Bristol Rovers through illness. Skipper Josh Wright also travelled with the squad and he could make the frame.
Form guide (last 6 in all competitions, starting with most recent)
AFC Wimbledon WLLLWD
Last time out
AFC Wimbledon 2-1 Oxford United
Bradford City 0-0 Bristol Rovers
Bradford City 0-4 AFC Wimbledon (27 January 2018)
AFC Wimbledon 2-1 AFC Wimbledon (23 December 2017)
In the last meeting, Cody McDonald’s double rounded off an impressive away day for the Dons after earlier goals from Jimmy Abdou and Andy Barcham. Wimbledon also won the previous home fixture against Bradford with goals from McDonald and Lyle Taylor earning a 2-1 victory. Click on the link below to relive the goals from that game again.
You can purchase tickets for tonight's game in cash at the turnstiles for both the Chemflow End and RyGas Terrace. Please note any online tickets purchased for this game can be collected from the white ticket booth in Jack Goodchild Way. Bradford supporters can also pay on the night for this match at the turnstiles for the RyGas Terrace. See our previous article for match arrangements ahead of the game.