Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Bristol City preview

With Bristol City having done their bit for road safety by declaring tonight's game on, our Championship season will be more than two-thirds complete by full-time.

Snowy weather at least brings the possibility of the orange ball, a sight as rare these days as an outfield player in goal, or a loyal footballer.

Buoyed by finally winning a League game, Phil Parkinson boldly threw Chris Dickson into the fray at Burnley, but saw the Addicks suffer the type of late heartbreak that has typified our season.

According to a Burnley-supporting friend who was there, we appeared petrified that we might actually win midway through the second half, subsequently stopped playing and instead indulged in some fairly blatant time-wasting.

This attitude, presumably managerially-ordained, was to cost us one point and perhaps even three. We are not going to achieve one of the greatest survival turnarounds by taking the lead then defending with our lives; instead we will have to try to 'play' our way out of it and hope we're good enough to do so.

Despite last Tuesday's euphoria, the truth remains that we have lost four of our last five Championship games, whilst our closest relegation rivals five games ago have done much better over the same period (Forest 12pts, Doncaster 13pts, Southampton 6pts).

If there's any cause for optimism tonight, it arises from City's poor home form which has seen them remarkably win the same number of home games as Charlton, despite being 19 points ahead of us.

Chris Iwelumo's last-minute goal secured the points for the Addicks last season, and with no recognised striker having scored a League goal for Charlton since 15 Dec, our best hope probably remains a 1-0 victory. This would be tough enough with a regular defence, let alone a makeshift one.

For once I sense I have the chance to predict our starting line-up correctly, with Parky opting for a 4-4-1-1 formation again sacrificing the unfortunate Dickson: Elliot, Murty, Basey, Ward, Holland, Bailey, Spring, Soares, Sam, Ambrose, Burton. Subs: Randolph, Racon, Shelvey, Dickson, Kandol.

NY Addick predicts: Bristol City 2 (Adebola, John), Charlton 0. Att: 13, 981.


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