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Friday, November 24, 2006

14 of 38 - Everton (home)

As our huge game against Everton approaches, I attempted to raise the spirits somewhat and had a look at how many games we had won against them, remembering one of the best being that 3-2 win at Sainsburys in October 1986 with Andy Melrose getting a hat-trick. It was our 5th home game of the season and we hadn't won a single one of the previous four. So in effect that win over Everton was Charlton first top flight home victory for 29 years. Happy days!

For tomorrows game very important game we can only hope that something similar happens.....

The Opponents
Everton's record away from home is very good with only 2 defeats in 6 games. They started at Blackburn with a 1-1 draw, then Spurs 2-0, Newcastle 1-1, Middlesbro 1-2, the Arse 1-1, and finally on Nov 4th Fulham 0-1.

But after a decent start to the season, you'll be pleased to know that things have not being going too well recently. After only 1 defeat in their first 10 games, the loss to Fulham at Craven Cottage seemed to end their confidence for it was followed by a 0-1 defeat at home to the Arse in the LC, then another defeat at home 0-1 to Villa before finally improving in last weekends 1-0 home win over Bolton.

So only 1 goal scored in their last 4 games ( and that a screamer from Spaniard Arteta) and 3 defeats in there as well.

One key to their success has been the stability in their squad with seven players having appeared in every Premiership game: Arteta, Carsley, Howard, Johnson, Lescott, Neville, Yobo ( the Addicks only have 4 Darren Bent, Carson, El Karkouri, Young ). And also, unlike the Addicks, they also have the benefit of 2 midfielders scoring goals with top goalscorers being: Johnson 6, Cahill 5, ( out injured), Arteta 3 and Beattie 2.

The History

As reported recently we are currently one win down to Everton with the totals being:

Charlton 18 wins, Everton 19, Draws 9
Home games: Charlton 12 wins, Everton 8, Draws 3

And in the Premiership its also been very close with 6 wins apiece and 2 Draws. In fact Everton havn't beaten us at the Valley since Duncan Ferguson converted a penalty and David Weir netted in a 1-2 success on 18 August 2001. A very disappointing opening game defeat in which they came from behind to win after JJ had put us in front.

The Addicks

So many bad reports have been written about the performance last Saturday that it would seem likely that Les will leave some of the non-performers out. Not that he has much choice available with injuries still causing a problem. So which ones, if any, retire to the bench we wouldn't know until the day but it would seem certain that Reid and Holland will continue in midfield with Faye making a return from suspension.

With both Diawara ( and Kish ) out of the game the defence line-up will depend on the fitness of Traore and what Reed thinks about the skills of Sorondo over Fortune. It may be too early for Traore to return for a full 90 minutes as he only started training two weeks back but he could make the bench.

Everton manager, David Moyes, has been complaining about his defence recently ( with only 1 goal in 4 games, maybe it should be his attack that gets some stick ) and having to play full-backs out of position and maybe Les will put Reading out of his mind and be tempted into putting out both wingers in an attempt to prove the point. This is, of course, psychological minds games being played by Moyes. He wants us to put out two wingers to leave the middle open for his own boys. Don't be tempted , Les.

So the formation will clearly depend on how upset Leslie was with last weekends display. Either he generates some passion from somewhere or he has to try someone else. Expect Lloyd Sam to at the least make the bench alongside such talents as Hughes, Marcus Bent, Thomas or Rommedahl and possibly Traore.

So its: Carson, Young, El Karkouri, Fortune, Hreidarsson, Rommedahl, Faye, Reid, Holland, Sam, Darren Bent.

Lawrenson goes with a 1-1 draw due to the fact that we are "a club in turmoil". I think he means trouble rather than turmoil but whatever, he does get lots right every week and I going to agree with him again, 1-1, 'cause Rome wasn't built, or even rebuilt, in a day, or even 7 days.

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