MK Dons meet AFC Wimbledon for the first time since former outfit Wimbledon FC was dissolved and relocated to Milton Keynes.
The new club, now controversially nicknamed ‘The Dons’ – are currently vying for promotion from League One – and are the overwhelming favourites for this potentially explosive encounter at 4/11.
Left behind to pick up the pieces of the collapsed Crazy Gang was AFC Wimbledon, who from their foundation in 2002, have fought their way up six divisions to League Two.
It would be erroneous to suggest this is a ‘grudge match’ or a game with a big rivalry, as the bad blood between these two teams goes beyond mere footballing passion.
To highlight the animosity – which largely comes from AFC Wimbledon’s side – is a quote from the Wimbledon Independent Supporters’ Association chairman Simon Wheeler.
“I won’t be going because I vowed never to set foot there,” said Mr Wheeler.
“Our football club was ripped out of my community against the wishes of Wimbledon fans. I have zero excitement and I don’t think it’s a fixture that should ever have happened.”
Despite being one of the most controversial fixtures in the FA Cup’s history, it is a game that has narrowly avoided an away fans boycott and one that’s build up has included the home side’s scouts being told they were not welcome in south London to watch the visitors play.
But if phoenix club AFC Wimbledon could produce a victory in Milton Keynes – priced at a long 7/1 – it would go some way to give the travelling fans the vengeance they feel is owed.
The original Dons supporters are rightly still angry at the relocation decision in the early 2000’s, despite how much business sense it made to current MK chairman Pete Winkleman.
It all makes for an intriguing 90 minutes at Stadium mk, and given the expectation for a fast and frantic game of football the draw could be worth a punt at 19/5.
If class does prevail – simply in terms of playing staff of course – then MK Dons could dominate their relegation-threatened opponents with a win to nil priced at 5/4.
Form is with the hosts, who are unbeaten in eight outings, while the away side are struggling in the fourth tier, without a victory in four attempts.
But this match is likely to see the formbook scrapped, as players from both teams raise their game for this televised encounter with so many strings attached.
Predicting a fixture with so much emotion is difficult, but both sides to score looks a reasonable bet at 5/6, as does a tense first half to end all sqaure at 13/8.
If the unthinkable David and Goliath style comeback was to happen, and AFC Wimbledon were to come from behind and win then a price of 20/1 could prove tempting.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.