Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Stockport preview

After the initially traumatic, but ultimately euphoric performance against Sheffield Wednesday, it's time for the last in the series of August fixtures against teams beginning with an 'S'.

I don't know whether it's my age, fatherhood or a result of having spent over three years in the US, but barring a late change of plan (or change of heart), I won't be attending this evening. Arguably this is an unprecedented event - it is difficult to recall the last time I missed a first team Valley fixture whilst I was in the UK.

In truth, having supported Charlton for over 25 years and having never seen us reach the last eight of the League Cup, last season's diabolical result at home to Wycombe was perhaps the final straw as far as this particular competition goes. It was as low as I had felt as a Charlton fan since perhaps 1985 (and in truth I was too young then to appreciate the gravity of events), and my vitriolic posts about the nonsensical appointment of Les Reed that followed the defeat came from the heart, even if I now regret them.

Whilst it is not entirely inconceivable that we could win the competition (most Premiership teams field weakened teams, at least until the final stages), it is difficult to get very excited. The competition lacks the romance of the FA Cup, and there seems little to gain both this evening and going forward from the competition. The funds generated by a proper run (say to the semis) would be welcomed, but in the meantime I would not rule out the possibility that even hosting tonight's fixture is a money-losing proposition. A crowd of perhaps 7,000 or so paying an average of say £8 (plus a few quid spent here and there on beer and programmes) may not even cover our costs.

Having said all of the above, winning begets winning and a favourable result tonight will make it 3 from 5 in all competitions, not a bad return for essentially a brand new team. Stockport have begun this season unbeaten and like Wycombe before them, will arrive with nothing to lose. However unlike Wycombe, they will not be roared on by thousands of their own fans, probably to our benefit.

Pards will have learnt plenty from Saturday's fixture, and whilst it might appear sensible to begin with the eleven that destroyed Wednesday in the second half, he is bound to take the conservative approach and rest several key players ahead of the Palace game, and rightly so. Hence I expect us to line up as follows: Randolph, Semedo, Powell, Fortune, McCarthy, Sinclair, Faye, Zheng, Sam, Todorov, Iwelumo.

NY Addick predicts: Charlton 3 (Todorov 2, Zheng), Stockport 0. Att: 6,782


At 5:38 AM, Anonymous SLC Red said...

The fact that the prediction was only 4 goals out in total speaks volumes for the poverty of Charlton's defence. I know, I know injury problems have forced a redefinition of the back line and it was only the Carling Cup but anyone worried about the Palace game?


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