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Wimbledon’s winless run continued on Tuesday evening, with the Dons suffering a 1-0 home defeat to Rotherham, which followed a 3-2 loss at Charlton Athletic on February 5.
Not since December 7 have Wimbledon managed to collect all three points in League One, and a total 30 points from 30 matches has left them down in 20th spot in the table, just one point clear of 21st-placed Morecambe, who have played one game more than the side directly above them.
Mark Robinson‘s side, who finished 19th in League One last season, have found it difficult to pick up positive results in front of their own supporters this term, collecting just 15 points from 15 matches, which is the joint-worst record in the division alongside Lincoln City and Doncaster Rovers.
Wimbledon will certainly be wary of a potential backlash from Sunderland this weekend, and it is a big end to the month for the club, as they will take on Bolton Wanderers on February 19 before travelling to Gillingham and hosting Doncaster in their final two games of the month.
Wimbledon boss Robinson will have been encouraged by his team’s performance against table-topping Rotherham on Tuesday, so it would not be a surprise to see the same XI take to the field.
That said, Daniel Csoka was forced off at the interval last time out, so the defender will need to be assessed, with Will Nightingale on standby to come into the side.
Jack Rudoni has impressed for Wimbledon this season, scoring seven times in League One, and the 21-year-old will again feature in the final third of the field this weekend.
As for Sunderland, recent arrivals Jermain Defoe and Patrick Roberts are pushing for starts after appearing off the bench against Cheltenham, but the club will be cautious when it comes to the fitness of the pair.
The management team are expected to resist the temptation to make wholesale changes from the side that started on Tuesday, with Jack Clarke set to retain his spot in a wide area.
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Jay Matete and Leon Dajaku were among those introduced into the team against Cheltenham, and the pair could retain their positions in the first XI against a struggling Wimbledon.
AFC Wimbledon possible starting lineup:
Tzanev; Kalambayi, Heneghan, Nightingale; Alexander, Hartigan, Marsh, Guinness-Walker; Rudoni, Cosgrove, Assal
Sunderland possible starting lineup:
Patterson; Hume, Batth, Doyle, Cirkin; Evans, Matete; Dajaku, Pritchard, Clarke; Stewart