A guide to Wimbledon's potential opponents
AFC Wimbledon will have an opportunity to upset the odds in the Capital One Cup first round and we today take a closer look at the 17 possible opponents ahead of Monday’s draw.
Among those seeded Championship and League 1 clubs are plenty of teams that would provide an early season cash boost, along with a chance to watch talented players from a higher level.
But as Bradford showed last year, League 2 clubs can upset the bigger boys and, of course, the old Wimbledon became famous for causing cup upsets.
Below are the 17 seeded teams that Wimbledon could face in Monday’s draw, which will be announced at 9.30 am, and a bit more about them:
Eddie Howe’s return as manager inspired the Cherries to promotion to the Championship and, of course, they helped Wimbledon out by loaning Jonathan Meades to the Dons. The fact that Meades was not viewed part of Howe’s plans – the midfielder has since joined Oxford – shows how high the bar will be raised in the Championship. Howe has not yet made any new signings, though Bournemouth reportedly had a bid turned down by Burnley for former Dean Court striker Danny Ings.
: Second in League 1Last season’s position
- Brett Pitman: Scored 19 goals last season and it will be interesting to see how he adapts to playing at the higher level.Star man
6,852Average gate for 2012/13:
City are currently going through a transitional period after their Premier League glory years, a spell that included winning the League Cup by stunning Arsenal at Wembley. Reality has since set in for the St Andrews faithful after taking part in the Europa League as they finished mid-table in the Championship. However, former Newcastle and Fulham midfielder Lee Clark survived a particularly turbulent time at the start of his reign and he has already started strengthening his squad this summer. Striker Lee Novak, who played for Clark at Huddersfield, has signed and Neal Eardley from Blackpool will bring Premier League experience at the back.
in the Championshipth 12Last season’s position:
– Marlon King: Experienced striker may have had his problems off the field, but he still knows where the back of the net is and he struck 14 times last season.Star man
16,702Average gate for 2012/13:
The Bees may have suffered play-off heartbreak against Yeovil, but manager Uwe Rosler has wasted no time dwelling on that and he has already strengthened for another promotion tilt. Former Swindon captain Alan McCormack and Watford goalkeeper Jack Bonham have both joined already. A potential tie against Brentford would be one to savour for Dons centre-back Alan Bennett, who previously captained the Bees to League 2 title success.
in League 1nd 2Last season’s position:
– Clayton Donaldson: Struck 24 goals last season to almost help Brentford to automatic promotion.Star man
6,302Average gate for 2012/13:
BRIGHTON & HOVE ALBION
Last season ended in controversy with rising manager Gus Poyet suspended by the club after their bitter play-off semi-final defeat against Crystal Palace. However, the strides Brighton have made in recent years with promotion, a new stadium and a rising fan base suggests they may make the Premier League soon.
in the Championshipth 4Last season’s position:
– Will Buckley: A winger who has been a pivotal force in Brighton’s rise and he chipped in with eight goals last seasonStar man
26,236Average gate for 2012/13:
O’Driscoll started the rebuilding process by releasing seven players including Cole Skuse and Jon Stead after the season ended. Finished rock-bottom of the Championship last season, but they have a talented manager in the form of Sean O’Driscoll, who has already strengthened his squad by bringing in Aden Flint from Swindon and Arsenal youngster Jordan Wynter.
in the Championshipth 24Last season’s position:
– Aden Flint: A defender who has moved up the leagues from Alfreton Town and was an integral part of Swindon’s rise. He should be an excellent signing for City.Star man
13,348Average gate for 2012/13:
A former Premier League club that could be heading back that way with club favourite Chris Powell having done a fantastic job so far. Powell is aiming high for next season and AFC Wimbledon loanees Yado Mambo and John Sullivan were released at the end of last season. Mark Gower, who impressed during a loan spell last season, has now signed on a permanent basis from Swansea. The Dons entertain the Addicks in a pre-season match on 17 July and former Charlton youth product Harry Pell would relish another meeting against his old club.
9th in the ChampionshipLast season’s position:
– Ben Hamer: Former Brentford goalkeeper who played a pivotal role in Charlton’s 2011/12 League 1 title win and has more than held his own in the Championship.Star man
18,499Average gate for 2012/13:
in League 1 last season. Of course, the Dons have had quite a few memorable clashes with Crawley over the years, including a 2-1 win for Wimbledon in the Conference promotion season, thanks to a Danny Kedwell winner. The Dons suffered a 3-2 defeat in the League Cup preliminary round in 2011/12 with goals from Luke Moore and Jack Midson not proving to be enough. Richie Barker is now Crawley’s manager and he is apparently close to bringing in new signings, though David Hunt has joined Oxford.thThe Sussex club’s rise has been praiseworthy, but perhaps they have now gone as far as they can after finishing 10
in League 1th 10Last season’s position:
– Dannie Bulman: The 34-year-old has been a consistent midfielder over many years throughout the club’s rise.Star man
3,408Average gate for 2012/13:
Former Wolves manager Mick McCarthy is the latest man charged with the tough task of getting Ipswich back to the Premier League. Cole Skuse has signed on the dotted line after he left Bristol City, but Ipswich are likely to need further additions if they are to challenge next season.
in the Championshipth 14Last season’s position:
– Aaron Cresswell: Consistent defender who achieved the admirable feat in today’s game by playing in every minute of all 46 league games last season.Star man
17,526Average gate for 2012/13:
Have to recover from missing out in the Championship play-offs last season, but they appear to have the right man to do that with Nigel Pearson at the helm. Leicester won the League Cup in 2000 by beating Tranmere Rovers in 2000 with Martin O’Neil as manager. A move to the Walkers Stadium has transformed the club and they could be on the verge of good times again.
Sixth in the ChampionshipLast season’s position:
David Nugent: Scored 16 goals last season to show that he can still be prolific many years after he burst onto the scene as a young striker who scored in his one and only England international appearance.Star man -
22,054Average gate for 2012/13:
Barry Hearn’s endless battle to allow Orient to play at the Olympic Stadium appears to be a losing battle, but the club made good progress on the pitch last season and finished just outside the play-off positions in League 1. The club decided to let students in for free and in an initiative designed to boost falling attendances at the Matchroom Stadium. Manager Russell Slade has done a great job with limited resources at his disposal and the club appears to be going the right way
7th in League 1Last season’s position:
- Kevin Lisbie: Veteran striker showed he could still do it with 16 goals last season.Star man
4,001Average gate for 2012/13:
AFC Wimbledon previously met Millwall in a first round FA Cup tie in November, 2009, when Terry Brown’s men put up a good fight, before eventually being beaten 4-1 at The Den. Lewis Taylor gave Wimbledon hope by pulling one back to make it 2-1, but Danny Schofield and Jason Price killed off the Dons. The Lions will perhaps have a transitional season ahead with Kenny Jacket having left last season’s FA Cup semi-finalists and Steve Lomas having taken over the reins.
in the Championshipth 20Last season’s position:
10,559Average gate for 2012/13:
– David Forde: A dependable goalkeeper who showed his class for the Republic of Ireland recently in a 1-1 draw against England at Wembley.Star man
Of course, AFC Wimbledon played the match some fans never wanted to watch last December when Jack Midson scored the goal of the game in a 2-1 FA Cup second round defeat. Milton Keynes had a mid-season loss of form that put paid to their League 1 play-off hopes last season.
in League 1th 8Last season’s position:
- David Martin: Steady goalkeeper who showed his consistency between the sticks last season.Star man
8,611Average gate for 2012/13:
Posh have had brief spells in the Championship in recent seasons, but they will have to bounce back again after relegation back to League 1. However, manager Darren Ferguson knows the club inside out and they could be capable of doing so again if he can improve the squad once again.
in the Championshipnd 22Last season’s finish:
– Dwight Gayle: Forward who reached double figures in a relegated side.Star man
8,215Average gate for 2012/13:
QUEENS PARK RANGERS
Even Harry Redknapp could not turnaround their slide last season after being appointed before the midway point of the season. It remains to be seen how long the former Spurs manager will be around to engineer a big rebuilding job with top striker Loic Remy among those likely to leave. However, with a loyal and passionate fan base, QPR would be a great draw for the Dons and given more time Redknapp could well have the club heading upwards again.
in the Premier Leagueth 20Last season’s position:
– Adel Taraabt: Highly talented playmaker who showed flashes of his undoubted ability and will flourish back in the Championship if he stays.Star man
17,779Average gate for 2012/13:
Former Aston Villa manager Kevin MacDonald engineered Swindon’s best Football League finish for years and they were only just beaten by Brentford in the play-off semi-final. Having lost key men Aden Flint and Alan McCormack, it will be a test to replicate last season’s success.
in League 1th 6Last season’s position:
– James Collins: Notched 18 goals last season to march Swindon towards the play-offsStar man
8,528Average gate for 2012/13:
New Football League restrictions on bringing in so many players on loan from abroad could hinder their chances of another promotion tilt. However, Gianfranco Zola is hoping to bring several of those players back from Udinese on permanent deals and with such a bright, intelligent manager they could build on last season when they were beaten in the play-off final by Crystal Palace.
in the Championshiprd 3Last season’s position:
– Matej Vydra: The Championship’s Player of the Season who banged in the goals to lead the promotion charge. It remains to be seen if the Czech striker will remain at Watford.Star man
Promotion to the Championship confounded the bookies with Gary Johnson’s men surprising Brentford in the League 1 play-off final at Wembley. That dramatic win capped a remarkable rise for the Somerset club and former Bristol City manager Johnson knows all about the Championship. They would win even more admirers in football if they can stay up in the second tier of English football next season.
in League 1th 5Last season’s position:
– Paddy Madden: A superb haul of 23 goals provided the spark for Yeovil’s promotion.Star man
Average gate for 2012/13:4,071.