Monday, November 22, 2010

Rovers preview

Charlton finally won a home game by a scoreline other than 1-0, although like those previous victories it was a close-run thing again.

The Addicks have secured four victories in the final five minutes of matches this season (Yeovil, MK Dons, Notts County, Carlisle), whilst also securing a useful point at Plymouth.

They’ve also given up three late points (Exeter, Dagenham & Redbridge), but the net six points gained as matches enter their closing stage are not only vital, but hopefully indicative of both excellent fitness as well as resilience.

It is remarkable what has happened since that sorry 4-0 defeat to Brighton, and not only to Charlton.

For example we were behind Notts County on goal difference that evening, yet we are now 15 points and 18 places ahead of them (and to think some of us were calling for Paul Ince as manager!).

Charlton’s goals have been coming from all directions, with Johnnie Jackson somewhat bizarrely now the top scorer with 7 goals, including 6 in his past 5 League games.

Parky has somewhat belatedly recognised that Jackson lacks the athleticism to play full-back, a role far better filled by Matt Fry. Very few of us had him down as a finisher though.

Southampton however have quietly got their act together under Nigel Adkins (funny that), and four wins from five has ensured they have generally kept pace with the Addicks, a fact not unnoticed by the bookies who have them as very firm second favourites behind the Seagulls.

Indeed with the South Coast pair meeting in a tasty looking derby tomorrow night, we may know more about which of the two we should fear the most.

Parky will be forced into an unwelcome change with Christian Dailly forced to serve a four-game ban, which will render him unavailable until at least the Brentford game in the JPT. His options are varied, with Jon Fortune the obvious selection, but Miguel Llera and Matt Fry offering an alternative.

Joe Anyinsah may be fit to return, but with Lee Martin having provided solid support for Paul Benson in the past two wins, there seems little point rushing him back.

In order to even up matters, Paul Trollope’s Bristol Rovers side also face a suspension-generated headache, with both first and second choice right-backs Carl Regan and ever-present Byron Anthony ruled out.

Dominic Blizzard is unlikely to feature, fortunately for him perhaps given memories of his shocking tackle on Grant Basey the last time these teams met.

The Pirates arrive at The Valley without a win in five, although self-respect would have been boosted to some degree by a battling point at Brighton on Saturday for which we were also most grateful.

Trollope is now managing team affairs without the insights of Lennie Lawrence, but it is obviously too early to suggest their lowly League position is somehow related.

Rovers have won only twice on the road (against Huddersfield and Dagenham & Redbridge), but have notched an impressive 13 goals in total, nearly twice as many as they’ve managed at home. Given that Charlton claim a similar home/away scoring record this season, we should certainly be on the guard for complacency.

Interestingly this fixture took place on the exact same week last season (on 24 Nov 2009), and similar entertainment would be most welcome, the Addicks eventually winning 4-2. Interestingly of the eleven that started that match, it is likely that only Jose Semedo will feature again just one year on.

When we met last season, Charlton had accumulated 32 points from 17 and today we stand on 31 points from 17. The crowd that night was 15,885 which is unlikely to be beaten this time around disappointingly, even factoring in the forecast freezing temperatures.

The crowd will be boosted however by the fact that I’ve invited a Dutch work colleague for the second half of a South-East London mini festival of sport (beginning with Andy Murray vs Roger Federer at the O2 Arena).

I mention the fact that he’s Dutch because he was brought up watching the Ajax side of the 1970s, inspired by the majesty of Cruyff and Neeskens. He’ll certainly find plenty to admire about Semedo and Racon then.

I don’t expect an easy victory by any means but for my charity bet I’ll opt for a 2-0 win, perhaps an early goal supplemented by a late breakaway to seal the win.

NY Addick bets £10 on Charlton to win 2-0 (at 8/1)


At 7:41 PM, Blogger ChicagoAddick said...

NY, perhaps your Dutch friend will be treated to what Plymouth fans call a Marcel Seip Turn!!

Enjoy the game.


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