Friday, January 12, 2007

'Boro preview

If we are to stand virtually any chance of saving ourselves this season, then the home fixtures against 'Boro, Wigan, Sheff Utd and West Ham must surely deliver ten points or more. Hence a win tomorrow is vital, a draw would be disappointing and a defeat unthinkable since it would see another potential relegation contender disappear into the distance. Should those ten points be accumulated however, it would leave us with another 14 to find from the other 12 games to reach the fabled 40-point mark. Again a tall order, but on paper at least an achievable one.

During the four games we played against 'Boro last season, we edged it thanks to a Premiership double which most Charlton fans would probably have swapped for an FA Cup victory. In 05/06 generally however, 'Boro were disappointing and they have not improved much since following the surprisingly premature appointment of Gareth Southgate as manager. Indeed their dire away form (no wins this season) is almost challenging ours and West Ham's for consistent underachievement.

'Boro will be at close to full strength tomorrow probably implying a substitute's berth at best for former Addick, Jason Euell who should merit a warm ovation since hindsight has told us we have missed his goals, especially from midfield. Euell's teammates meanwhile comprise a typical midtable mix of the classy (Viduka, Yakubu, Woodgate), the experienced but mediocre (Arca, Boateng, Schwarzer) and the promising (Downing, Taylor, Cattermole, Morrison, Parnaby). As with most teams outside the big four, if we get stuck in and play some football then with a bit of luck we will win the game. Play like we did at Forest and we will get turned over, pure and simple.

Derek 'Killer' Hales (KillerWatch© -£601), for whom gambling wins are about as common as Charlton/'Boro away wins, is predicting fewer than 2.5 goals forgetting perhaps the goalfest produced when these teams last met. I am going to suggest that the hard work Pards has directed this week on the training ground, allied with the extra steel provided by Ben Thatcher's arrival will be enough to deliver the Addicks three points, and just edge out Killer (again). NY Addick predicts: Charlton 2 (Holland, Ambrose), 'Boro 1 (Yakubu)


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