Thursday, February 07, 2008

Palace preview

Sunday was the Superbowl, Tuesday was Super Tuesday, and on Monday I went to the supermarket. What a super few days it's been.

It was super too to hear on Sunday night from new signing Frankie Valley, who is clearly undergoing some considerable existential introspection. When I first contacted him about a loan move, he was swayed by the fact that New York is one of the few places on earth where those in some form of therapy are in the majority.

Let's hope Dr Kishishev can get him Frankie back on his feet, and remember this is the only place where you will read his uniquely refreshing perspective on Friday's game.

The build-up to Friday night's game has been hyped to say the least, and a near-capacity crowd will be present for a game that will go some way to defining the outcome of both clubs' seasons. However, I would stress that it will only go some way because we run the risk with 16 games left of allowing local rivalry to overstate the true importance of the game.

Despite all the platitudes, come 10pm on Friday we will either have 47, 48 or 50 points. There's really nothing more to it, but 45 points will still remain up for grabs in the season's remaining fixtures. Messrs Murray and Jordan can enjoy a amicable post-match drink (surely some mistake - Ed.), and we can all go on our merry way.

It's not that three points won't be greatly welcomed, or that a win over one of our obvious promotion rivals won't be doubly beneficial, but merely that I think a frenzied Cup-esque atmosphere will play more into Palace's hands than ours. With Neil Warnock as manager (Anag: Colin Wanker), they will not lack in the nastiness stakes if the game demands it. After all, let's not forget he oversaw the Sheffield United team which finished an abandoned league game versus WBA with just six players.

As was proven against Stoke last week, brain will overcome brawn if a calm attitude prevails (one wonders how different the outcome of that match might have been if Danny Mills had played for example). We know full well that Charlton are very far indeed from the finished article, but come early-May we just need to be better positioned than 22 or 23 others, nothing more and nothing less. The exact same three points we blew at Scunthorpe (amid considerably less fanfare) are available tomorrow night.

Greg Halford appears to have made a solid first reserve appearance, and was removed after an hour perhaps with a first-team debut in mind; Monsieur Moutaouakil's indiscretion on Saturday was certainly ill-timed. Meanwhile whilst Chris Iwelumo's presence against Stoke was partly to neutralise their size advantage, Palace offer less of a purely physical threat, and Varney or perhaps McLeod's pace would be welcomed alongside Andy Gray.

Jerome Thomas meanwhile remains a Charlton player, and must be pressuring the ever-frustrating Ambrose who has never remotely convinced as a wide player. Indeed, I would be keen to see us play two genuine wingers in Thomas and Sam, especially if Pards opts to rest the much-travelled Zheng, beefing up the midfield instead with Jose Semedo.

When all is said and done, I expect us to line up as follows: Weaver, Halford, Youga, Bougherra, McCarthy, Holland, Semedo, Sam, Thomas, Gray, Varney. Subs: Randolph, Fortune, Ambrose, Zheng, McLeod.

NY Addick predicts: Charlton 2 (Gray, Holland), Palace 1 (Morrison). Att: 26, 109.


At 8:15 PM, Blogger Kings Hill Addick said...

I agree that there is only three points available, but to be honest for just tomorrow the game is more important to me that the points available.


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