Bradford City v AFC Wimbledon - Pre match analysis
First of all I want to congratulate both James Meredith and former bantam and current Scunthorpe United midfielder Josh Morris for getting into this season's PFA League One Team of the Year.
Also a quick look at our fiercest rivals, Huddersfield Town just require 4 points to guarantee a play off place contrary to reports in some other newspapers and websites as Sheffield Wednesday and Fulham face each other on the final day of the season, both teams can't win that final fixture. Leeds United are just 2 points off 5th and out of the top 6 due to a significant goal difference. Can City and Town confirm our play places this weekend?
Right, back to where it matters...Bradford City.
I really would take a draw in this tie, our final home game and we are unbeaten at home in the league, a blip of a single home loss in the FA Cup by Accrington Stanley. A draw will guarantee us 6th place but realistically I would expect 5th as Millwall would then need to win their last 2 fixtures to draw level and overhaul the goal difference which is +5 in our favour. A play off confirmed and a whole season unbeaten in the league I would take by win or by draw.
Having taken the full 3 points away from the Dons back in October we have a very good chance of making another double of the season. City have only lost 2 of their last 12 games both away to Sheff U and Scunthorpe but conceding 6 goals over those 2 losses, we have won 8 games of those 12 which is the type of form we will need to see us through the play offs. The Dons have won only once in their last 7 games drawing the last 2 and losing the 2 prior and those 4 games not all against the top half teams either.
Head to Head
Really nothing in it, everything is pretty even Stevens, we have played each other 6 times with 3 wins apiece, all in the league barring an FA Cup tie at Valley Parade in December 2011 where the Bantams strolled out 3-1 victors. The largest win has gone to City a nice 5-1 mauling back in August 2013 where even AFC Wimbledon players wanted to get onto the City score sheet with an own goal courtesy of Haynes-Brown, maybe he just wanted to join in, good lad. The very first meeting was at Valley Parade which is the only away game the Dons have achieved a success over the Bantams going back to September 2011.
Boz's match verdict: Home win and more importantly play offs confirmed
5 Fun Facts
1. The away win back in October is the first time ever the Bantams have won away to the Dons, we achieved a sole away win against the original Wimbledon back in April 2002. Could this be our first league double over Wimbledon? In the 3 games at Valley Parade, The Dons have scored 4 times losing twice winning once. In contrast, the final 3 ties at Valley Parade against "Wimbledon" they scored 11 goals winning 2 drawing once.
2. For a club that only formed 15 years ago, they have achieved quite a lot, remarkable in fact, 6 promotions, 3 as champions and 3 through the play offs. In their very first season they finished 3rd in the Combined Counties League Premier Division winning it in their 2nd season. In their first 8 seasons, the worst league position they have finished at seasons end was 8th in the Conference National back in 2009/10. A fitting club to follow on from the original Wimbledon. (I will highlight it is my personal opinion that I am associating AFC Wimbledon to the old club and not MKD).
3. No current players ever played for the original Wimbledon, but manager Neal Ardley played for the Crazy gang between 1991-2002. Ardley has had a decent managerial career at the (new) Wombles, in 247 games he has won 83 drawn 89 and won last season's play offs in league 2. His last away win came at the end of February away to Scunthorpe, their 5th away victory this season.
4. The only current player to play for both Bradford City and AFC Wimbledon is our very own goal machine Charlie Wyke. Whilst a Middlesbrough player, Wyke had a loan spell back in early 2004 playing in 17 games 11 of which he started and what will be hard to believe, he only scored twice in his time at the Dons. Let's hope that is the Charlie Wyke they know and remember come Saturday before they become reacquainted.
5. Bradford City are 1 game from being unbeaten at home in the league for an entire season. The last time the Bantams were foiled in their own back yard in the regular season was almost 14 months ago, back on 1st March 2016 where a Colchester United with ex AFC Wimbledon loanee George Moncur playing that day were 1-2 victors.