Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Yeovil preview

Charlton have only reached the quarter-finals of the League Cup once in its history. Apologies for all those who have sought to erase the painful memory, but it occurred of course in 2006/7 under the wise stewardship of Les Reed, the Addicks going out bravely at home to Wycombe Wanderers.

Given that we have played virtually all of our football in the top two divisions since the Cup's inauguration in 1961, my attendance this evening is firmly based upon hope rather than experience.

We have a proud 100% history against Yeovil, giving them a footballing lesson at The Valley in the 2005 FA Cup, securing a comfortable 3-2 victory. Somewhat surprisingly given the player turnover that has occurred since, three of the players that began that tie may well also begin this one (Thomas, Fortune and Holland).

Having previously been best known as non-league giantkillers, under the wise tutelage of Gary Johnson (now enjoying similar success with Bristol City), they achieved promotion to League Two in 2003.

Their achievements since then (narrowly losing to Blackpool in the 2006/7 League One play-off final for example), suggest that they are one of the best run small clubs in the country, with ex-Grimsby boss Russell Slade continuing the good work.

In common with most Championship clubs these days, let alone League One clubs, I haven't heard of most of their players, although at one time former QPR midfielder Marc Bircham was rumoured to be on the brink of greater things. I guess that never happened then.

I'm not sure what the rules state on team selection (not very much judging from the likes of Arsenal), but I see no point risking any injuries or suspensions to key players within our absurdly thin squad.

The only true first-teamers who ought definitely to start in my view are Moutaouakil and Bouazza, but with only two centre-backs, someone like Semedo, Youga or even Holland will likely deputise for Hudson who will surely be rested, meaning Fortune will presumably play. The lunacy of our defensive situation will be hit home if he gets injured this evening.

The team that I expect to start (as opposed to the one I'd like to see start) is as follows: Elliot, Moutaouakil, Basey, Fortune, Semedo, Racon, Holland, Bouazza, Wagstaff, Varney, Dickson. Subs: Weaver, Youga, Fleetwood, Wright, Sam.

NY Addick predicts Charlton 3 (Dickson 3), Yeovil 0. Att: 8, 092.


At 9:41 AM, Anonymous Tim said...

oh my lord, lost 1 - 0 at home to Yeovil. Pards favorite for the sack already?


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