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Preview: AFC Wimbledon v Bolton Wanderers

A first ever meeting between the two sides as Bolton go in search of a first away win in 16 months...

Jordan Mansfield/Getty Images

In 2002, supporters of the former Wimbledon FC broke away from the club to form their own new team in reaction to its move away from south London to Milton Keynes. At this time, Bolton Wanderers were enjoying their second consecutive season in the Premier League with the likes of Jay-Jay Okocha, Youri Djorkaeff , Ivan Campo, Henrik Pedersen and Ricardo Gardner entertaining fans at the Reebok Stadium.

The 14 years that have followed have seen drastic changes in fortune for both sides, to the extent that tomorrow they go head-to-head in the league for the very first time.

AFC Wimbledon spent nine years working their way through the non-league system, all the way from the Combined Counties Leagues, through to the Isthmian League, followed by three years in the Conference. They then spent five seasons in League Two before their impressive defeat of Plymouth Argyle in last season's Play-Off Final. They're also sponsored by Football Manager, which makes me like them  regardless of what happens tomorrow.

Bolton, on the other hand, as we know all too well have fallen dramatically from grace since those heady heights of Okocha and co, and are very much on a downward spiral through the Football League. We haven't won an away match in decades, or more accurately since April 2015 - a whole 16 long, lonely, painful months.

Team News

AFC Wimbledon

Striker Lyle Taylor will be the man to watch for Bolton's somewhat pace-free defence. He followed up his 23 goals last season by getting on the scoresheet in Wimbledon's opening day 3-2 defeat at Peterborough United last week, and will be a threat again tomorrow.


Headline news is that Darren Pratley will miss a few months with his opening day leg crock (hooray, boo). Even more good news is that Zach Clough is back and available for selection (hooray, hoorah). We also have a new left-back in Andrew Taylor (who?), which means Dean Moxey might not have to attempt to play football (hooray).We also won't have Alex Finney on the call, as he's been released (interesting), so I don't think we have an obvious fit centre-half (idiots).

Head-to-Head Record

Easy - none

Match Odds

Wimbledon: 6/4

Bolton: 2/1

Draw: 5/2


5-1 Bolton. Only joking, it's away from home so we obviously won't win. 1-1 I reckon.