One of the most poorly kept secrets among football supporters is that many have a “second team”.

The smaller club gives us pride. It gives us community. It offers real, old-fashioned English football.

But football fans also like trophies and TV and glamour. And so, in secret, we find ourselves fancying one of the big boys.

So it is with me and Liverpool. For complicated and boring reasons, I developed a fondness for Liverpool Football Club years ago.

The history, the supporters, their pitched battle against an owner trying to Bain Capital them out of existence. It was intoxicating.

My relationship with Liverpool is a torrid affair. Indescribable highs. Interminable lows. You get addicted to it, really.

But my love for AFC Wimbledon is deep and real. Like a mighty river.

This hasn’t really caused a conflict so far. Liverpool, for all their recent struggles, look unlikely to slide down into the Football League any time soon.

As for Dons, the Premier League simply isn’t part of the club’s long term plans at the moment.

Both of my English clubs function in different strata. Until now.

My heart rests firmly with Dons - but I would be lying if I said the first weekend in January will be easy.

Still, I’m taking it better than a friend of mine, who also supports Dons and Liverpool. When told the game might be shown on TV, her response followed: “That the sanguine issue of my divided heart may be splattered across the world for all to see.”

(She has a flair for the dramatic. It’s why we’re friends.)

This may well be karma. Maybe it was wrong to divide my heart thusly. All I know is, the third round of the FA Cup will be capped with joy AND grief. Regardless of the result.