AFC Wimbledon Face Striker Issue Ahead Of Bradford City Test

AFC Wimbledon boss Johnnie Jackson has a temporary selection headache for the visit of Bradford City on Saturday. Top striker Ali Al-Hamadi is away on International duty with Iraq, which leaves a big hole in the starting line-up.

The forward was subject to transfer rumours before the window closed and has just started to find his scoring form of last year, as he bagged a hattrick against Tranmere Rovers in the Dons’ last home game.

Selection Headache

Wimbledon will want to keep their good run going, which sees them in fourth place, and have two options available unless a shake-up of the front line happens. With former Sutton striker Omar Bugiel proving to be the perfect foil for Al-Hamadi, he should keep his place as one of the front two.

Harry Pell and Josh Davison have so far been the backup pair, and the latter does seem to be the most obvious replacement. Pell has mostly been used as a late substitute for Bugiel, and the two are interchangeable as target men. Davison led the line well for the Dons at the start of last season before Al-Hamadi’s arrival in January.

Speaking to the South London Press ahead of the Bradford game, Johnnie Jackson said. “Pelly and Josh want to be playing every week – of course they do. Their attitude has been excellent when they have been called upon. They have been ready and played a massive part.

“It’s a long season and there are a lot of games – there are going to be a lot of opportunities for them to get games. With Ali away this weekend, it might be one of those opportunities.”

After sacking Mark Hughes, Bradford will go to Plough Lane with a new approach under caretaker boss Kevin McDonald, and so far he has bagged wins in both his games in charge.

“Making a change before the last league game makes it a bit trickier to prepare for. They could do some different things, whether that be changing line-up or formation. It’s trickier to know what you’re going to come up against, but however they set up, it will be a tough game.”

Writer’s View

Jackson will be well aware that any drop-off in form could be costly as the league is so tight. With the top striker missing the depth gets tested, and both Davison and Pell have struggled to get regular game time, and therefore goals. They are both valuable assets though, and whoever gets the nod to start will give everything to help the team stay in the early playoff places.



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