Monday, November 05, 2007

Bristol City preview

What a difference a goal makes. Until Chris Iwelumo's powered home a last-gasp header at Southampton, we had gone for over six hours of football without a Charlton player having scored a goal.

Now we head to high-flying Bristol City with our tails up, knowing another vital away win will see us once again firmly amongst the pace-setters behind Watford. Given the relentless nature of the Championship, every team will have spells of poor results; we've hopefully put ours to bed for now, but we can hope Watford have merely begun theirs.

Bristol City are nicknamed the Robins (and play in red and white unsurprisingly), so we've already got something in common, but despite also being a somewhat similarly 'sized' club to us, we've not met in a league fixture since 1994/95. Our most memorable recent meeting was a two-pronged FA Cup affair in early-1994 which saw 6,000 Addicks fans (including me) make the trip to Ashton Gate, before we finished them off at The Valley to book a trip to Old Trafford in the 6th Round.

Their manager Gary Johnson is a little eccentric (and he has a propensity for selecting his own son Lee), but he is undoubtedly successful and has so far surprised the pundits with City's early season form. More importantly, he is now required to flash his backside in Burton's shop window after defender Liam Fontaine broke his scoring duck at Wolves.

Pards must make at least one enforced change, and an important one too given Jose Semedo's ever-present influence this season. Therry Racon seems the obvious replacement, but it's not clear he is as defensively minded as Semedo. Other more outlandish options include Madjid Bougherra as the holding player, or perhaps a League debut for Harry Arter? Alternatively Zheng may be asked to operate far deeper alongside Reid in central midfield, with Varney or perhaps Ambrose pushed forward to partner Big Chris©.

However, I suspect Pards will opt for Racon as the least disruptive option of the several available and thus we should line up as follows:

Weaver, Mills, Basey, Sodje, Fortune, Sam, Thomas, Reid, Racon, Zheng, Iwelumo. Subs: Randolph, Bougherra, Ambrose, Varney, Moutaouakil.

Finally, a word of advice for those with a penchant for an occasional 'short-term speculative investment'. The bookies have been slow to pick up on the fact that Sam Sodje is now our main target at set pieces, and moreover a rather good one too (witness two very close efforts against QPR and Southampton respectively). Thus there is a best-priced 40/1 available at William Hill on him scoring the first or last goal. Get involved.

NY Addick predicts Bristol City 0, Charlton 1 (Sodje). Att: 17, 431.


At 8:32 AM, Anonymous marco se7. said...

Strange how McCarthy has gone completely out of the picture. Surely he has recovered from his early season jitters. He could be someone to play a holding role, knowing that there is back up behind him when things don't go well.

At 10:54 AM, Blogger mikewoodhouse said...

Did you get chased around the surrounding area after the Cup game? That was fun (not), as also wasn't the long queue to leave the area once we'd circled back to our car.

I did buy a Voice from Steve Dixon on the open terrace though.

At 4:10 PM, Blogger Confidential Rick said...

With you on Bristol City mikewoodhouse. The only time I've been scared at football was after that game. What with the city fans rampaging and the police wading in with batons ,,very ugly..I was with my son and he was terrified.To cap it all we went into McDonalds on the way home and the City fans came in searching out Charlton tops...we didn't stay to finish the burgers.

At 9:50 PM, Blogger Steve Sax said...

Are you frickin' kidding me? Another 90th minute goal from Iwelumo? Unbelievable!

Really appreciate your blog as I try to learn more about Charlton. Keep up the great work.


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