By Sebastian Sternik
AFC Wimbledon will be without three of their first-team defenders as they welcome Fleetwood to the Kingsmeadow ground.
Captain Barry Fuller, Jon Meades and Sean Kelly are all out of Saturday’s game as Neal Ardley is forced to test the depth of his squad.
Fuller will miss the game after picking up his fifth yellow card of the season during Wimbledon’s mid-week 0-0 draw with Millwall. Meades is also suspended after picking up a red card during Tuesday’s draw.
Sean Kelly, who has made 8 appearances for the club this season, is still working on his fitness and will not feature against Fleetwood.
Neal Ardley told the club’s website: “Sean is not quite ready to play yet and we have the suspensions for Barry and Jon – that was a big negative from the other night.”
Chris Long could make his return for Fleetwood after missing the last three games with a suspension. However, with Fleetwood winning all of their last three games, the on-loan striker could find himself on the bench.
Uwe Rosler is also likely to have Jimmy Ryan back in the side. The midfielder picked up a foot injury earlier this month but has been declared fit as his side search for their first ever win over AFC Wimbledon.
A look at previous meetings between Fleetwood and Wimbledon ahead of this weekend's clash- it hasn't been a happy fixture for #ftfc ! 📝🤓 https://t.co/M41BgPi4RJ
— Harry Poole (@_Harry_Poole) November 25, 2016
The Dons, on the other hand, have only picked up one league victory from their last four games and will be looking to end their inconsistent run.
However, in order for Neal Ardley’s side to win, they’ll first need to get past the stern Fleetwood defence, which hasn’t conceded a league goal in over 270 minutes.
Following Fleetwood’s 3-0 win over Shrewsbury last Tuesday, Rosler told the club’s website: “We were very strong defensively and our wing-backs have been outstanding.”
AFC Wimbledon and Fleetwood are both currently one point away from the play-off places in League One. A win for either team will certainly boost their position in the league.