Monday, January 14, 2008

FA Cup preview II

Tuesday's replay at The Hawthorns presents Alan Pardew with an interesting dilemma.

Having seemingly stumbled across a very effective line-up by playing a so-called 'weakened' side in the first tie, does he revert back to a 'weakened' side for the replay (formerly known as his 'strongest' side), or play his new 'strongest' side (formerly known as his 'weakened' side)? It's not for nothing that Pards gets paid the big bucks.

Although the 4th Round Draw has been kind to us, the bookies suggest that whatever team Pards selects, Charlton only have a 35-40% chance of heading to Peterborough in eleven days time. Instinctively this feels about right given WBA's excellent home form and the way they comfortably beat us in December, notwithstanding the likelihood that they too might play an experimental side.

Thus to take risks in a game that we are more likely to lose than win, and in which the upside to winning is capped anyhow (we would still only be 66/1 or so to lift the trophy), seem illogical to me, particularly with the far more important Watford game looming.

We've had our best shot at progressing and we rather blew it, so let's give a young team the freedom to express themselves and we may get a pleasant surprise all the same. It would be nice to progress, but I suspect few Charlton fans will lose any sleep.

The general conclusion after Charlton's demolition of Blackpool was that we were pacy and sparky all over the field, and indeed a team which contains Youga, Moutaouakil, Sam, Varney and McLeod (plus presumably a fit Thomas to replace Ambrose), has much greater menace to it than the rather staid 4-5-1 which preceded it, during home games at least.

The full-back berths have been problematic all season, so it's pleasing that my trumpeting of Moutaouakil's claims, whilst also highlighting the absurdity of Youga's loan have both seemingly not been in vain. With the January transfer window having been left firmly shut so far, at least in Youga's case, we effectively already have a new signing.

If I was Pards, I'd line 'em up as follows: Randolph, Sankofa, Powell, Fortune, McCarthy, Ambrose, Racon, Semedo, Sam, McLeod, Iwelumo. Subs: Weaver, Bougherra, Holland, Varney, Dickson.

NY Addick predicts: WBA 2 (Philips, Gera), Charlton 0. Att: 14, 202.


At 2:04 PM, Blogger Kings Hill Addick said...

Sorry NYA I have a different agenda. Not only do I think that another run out for the same line up would be beneficial, my father-in-law is a Posh fan so I really want to go through.

At 4:00 PM, Anonymous Simon said...

Jesus, can you help me out here! Am I in the right or have I got it completely wrong?


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