Wimbledon will be searching for their first home win since August this evening when Rotherham United visit Kingsmeadow.
Three points can take the Dons out of the League One relegation zone, but their visitors have started the season well, and only league leaders Wigan have scored more goals than the Yorkshire side.
The game kicks-off at 7.45pm, and here’s a run through the key talking points of tonight’s encounter.
Rotherham, currently fourth in League One, have won four of their last six games. Relegated from the Championship last season, they have only won two of their last 31 away league games, but took three points away from Rochdale on their last road trip. They have yet to draw a game this season (won 8, lost 5).
Paul Warne played over 250 times for Rotherham over the course of two spells with the Millers. He joined the coaching staff at the club upon his retirement in May 2012, and was appointed as caretaker manager in November 2016 after former manager Kenny Jackett resigned. Warne could not stop Rotherham finishing bottom of the Championship last season, but was still appointed as permanent manager in April.
Millers’ Key Man
Striker Kieffer Moore (pictured above, right), 25, is the top goalscorer in League One, with 10 goals already to his name, including a hat-trick on his Millers debut in their 5-0 hammering of Southend. Moore is on a season-long loan from Ipswich Town, but could be recalled in January.
Midfielder Ryan Williams is doubtful for the Millers, but otherwise they should remain unchanged from the side that beat Scunthorpe 2-0 on Saturday. The injured trio of Darren Potter, Lee Frecklington, and Jon Taylor are not due to return for another week. Wimbledon are also likely to keep the same squad that won at Northampton on the weekend, although Jimmy Abdou might come into the starting line-up in place of Egli Kaja, who is still a little short of match fitness.
In the 10 games Dean Whitestone has officiated so far this season, he has averaged three bookings. He has only produced one red card, however, and has yet to award a penalty. A new face for Rotherham fans, Whitestone was in charge of Wimbledon’s 3-1 League Cup defeat to Brentford in August, but his last league visit to Kingsmeadow was for the Dons 5-1 demolition of Bury in November 2016.
Rotherham have won all four previous meetings with AFC Wimbledon. The last time they met at Kingsmeadow was in December 2012: Kieran Agard scoring the only goal of the game for the Millers, who were managed by former Crawley manager Steve Evans, in the League Two clash.
Richie Barker, Rotherham United assistant manager
“It’s a tight pitch and a team coming off the back of a positive result, so they’ll be buoyant.
“There are some similarities and they try and play. They try and play out from the goalkeeper so we’re going to have to try and stop them playing and work hard and we’ll have to press them high.
“In their front four players they’ve got a little bit on inventiveness as well, so we’ll have to make sure that we’re switched on defensively because they can hurt you.”
Neal Ardley, Wimbledon manager
“We’re going to need some support, positivity and a little bit of luck along the way – which I don’t think we’ve had yet – but if we can put it all together we can do it.
“I’m very proud of what’s happened over the last five years, but you can’t look backwards.
“You’ve got to keep looking forward. I’d be mortified if I didn’t do what I need to this season and keep the club moving forward and keep the club’s League One status.”
Fans can gain entry to the RyGas Terrace for tonight’s game for just £10, with accompanied under-18s allowed entry for just £1. Visit the club’s official web site for more information on how to purchase at these prices.
Rotherham 11/8; Wimbledon 2/1; Draw 9/4.
We think it’s time for Rotherham’s draw-less run to come to an end. Wimbledon’s struggle to score goals is well-renowned, but the Millers open, attacking style will give them chances on the break, so we’re looking forward to an entertaining score draw.