Fleetwood Town welcome AFC Wimbledon to Highbury Stadium on Saturday in the Third Round of the Emirates FA Cup.
With a busy festive period for both teams in Sky Bet League One, the FA Cup is a nice distraction for both teams as they enter the new calendar year. Fleetwood have beaten Alfreton Town and Guiseley to get to this stage, with AFC Wimbledon beating Haringey Borough in round one, and FC Halifax Town in round two.
Here is all you need to know ahead of the match:
Fixture: Fleetwood Town v AFC Wimbledon
Competition: Emirates FA Cup – Third Round
Date: Saturday 5th January 2019
Venue: Highbury Stadium, Park Avenue, Fleetwood, FY7 6SP
Referee / Officials: Ross Joyce, Grant Taylor, Darren Wilding, Benjamin Speedie.
Last five results in all competitions: D L W L W
League position: 11th position on 34 points
Club’s top goal scorer: Paddy Madden (13 goals in all competitions)
Fleetwood Town started off 2019 with a goalless draw at Shrewsbury Town – who were eight games unbeaten at home in all competition prior to the Sky Bet League One fixture. The Cod Army sit 11th in the league table and with a run of results, the gap between themselves and the top six will narrow.
Joey Barton has seen his side make Highbury a difficult place to come for any opposition that comes to the Fylde Coast, with seven undefeated in their last eight matches. Will they keep that record going in the new year?
Paddy Madden is the club’s top goal scorer with 13 goals for the season, with the Irishman looking to reach 20 goals by the end of the campaign. Strike partner Ched Evans – who is on loan from Championship side Sheffield United – is on nine goals, with the duo looking to cause defenders more problems with their link-up play in the final third.
Last five results in all competitions: L D W W L
League Position: 24th position on 22 points
Club’s top goal scorer: Joe Pigott (7 goals in all competitions)
Following their 2-1 defeat at the league leaders Portsmouth on Tuesday afternoon, The Dons are sitting bottom of the Sky Bet League One table, and five points adrift from Bradford City in 20th place.
They will be hopeful of using the Emirates FA Cup as a distraction from their league form to try and reach the Fourth Round of the competition if they can beat Joey Barton’s side on the road. They managed a 1-0 win on the opening day of the season at Highbury, with both sides looking very different now.
Kwesi Appiah keeps scoring goals for the Wombles, and with his equaliser on New Year’s Day looking like the goal to earn his side a point, it just wasn’t to be as Ronan Curtis bagging nine minutes from time.
One to watch: Joe Pigott
Joe Pigott, began his footballing career at Charlton Athletic in 2012, where he spent four years at the club. First team football was tough to come by for the now 25-year-old, so loan spells at Gillingham, Newport and Southend followed.
After time out on loan, League Two side Cambridge United came calling and the youngster scored his first goal for the club in their 1-0 win away at Shrewsbury in the EFL Trophy.
Pigott signed for the Dons in January 2018, and the forward scored four minutes into his debut in their 2-0 home victory over Blackpool, having only entered the match on the 73rd minute.
He has scored 12 goals for AFC Wimbledon in just under 12 months, with his first of this season coming against Fleetwood on the opening day win at Highbury. His last goal was in his side’s 3-1 win over Halifax in the FA Cup in the last round.
“Since Wally Downes [new AFC Wimbledon manager] has been there, they’ve been solid. They will be organised, competitive and aggressive, and we know that we will have to be on our metal to deal with it.
“It’s a tie that if you don’t get a Man United or a Man City, Liverpool, Chelsea, Arsenal, Tottenham or someone in the Third Round then you want a game at home, we’ve got that. You want a game at home that you’ve got a competitive chance of winning, we’ve got that.
“The Christmas period for me has been a really good period, we beat a very good Doncaster side and I think we wouldn’t have got beat by Portsmouth – we were in the ascendency when we went down to ten. I’m not saying we would have won the game, but I don’t think we’d have lost the game.
“It’s an opportunity for us, with the influence of our fans, to really put in a good performance. I think if we reach our level of performance, we’ve proven we are more than a match for anybody in our division.
“It’s FA Cup football, so the league table goes out the window and I’m just really looking forwards to a game in front of our fans, knowing how good we’ve been in recent weeks.”
“You can’t say it’s just another game. It’s a match that’s come quickly after the Portsmouth game, where we played well, so the boys are looking forward to playing there. They’ll be looking to carry on with a performance like that, but change the result. If we change the result we’ll be in the hat on Saturday night, which is the most important thing.
“We’ll make sure we’ll put on a performance for any of our fans who come up there. We’ve certainly got to put in a performance, because the rewards are very high. The supporters may have wanted Tottenham or Arsenal in the draw, but there’s a great chance of getting them if we progress through this round. We’ll be playing at our maximum to get a result.
“I had Joey [Barton] as a player at QPR and he’s got some strong opinions on how he thinks the game should be played. It’s terrific that he’s taken his first step into management at Fleetwood. I am sure his aim is a lot higher. To cut your teeth and learn your trade at a lower league club shows a great mentality and I’m sure he’ll be successful, but hopefully not on Saturday!”
Here are the ticket prices for the match against Wimbledon:
ADULTS - £10
SENIORS - £5
UNDER 16s - £1
UNDER 5s – FREE
Fleetwood are favourites to win the Third Round tie at Highbury with odds of 23/20, and 4/6 for the Cod Army to qualify for the Fourth Round of the Emirates FA Cup.
Wimbledon are 12/5 to win the match in 90 minutes, and are currently 11/10 to confirm their place in the draw for the next round. A draw between the sides – which will see a replay being played at Kings’ Meadow – is currently priced at 9/4.
Fleetwood lost 1-0 to The Dons on the opening day of the season, but for Barton’s side to reserve the score-line this time around, you can get odds are 6/1.
For the home side to win 1-0, 2-0 or 21 on Saturday, the special group setting option will give you odds of 2/1 – This means if either of the results above come in, you win!
Find more odds on Sky Bet please click here. Please bet and gamble responsibly.