When you're down at the bottom every game is "Big" and there's another biggie tomorrow against a strugging Man. City side. Not struggling as much as the Addicks, however, as their successful battle against Middlesbrough on Monday ended in a 1-0 home victory which took them to 12 points and into a midtable 13th place.
That was a home game of course and its been on their travels that they have suffered somewhat. In fact any journey south of the Watford Gap has resulted in no goals and no points. They are still looking for their first away win of the season and in fact have only a single Premiership win away from home in the whole of 2006 beating Aston Villa 1-0 back in April.
And if you thought the Addicks away record was bad, Pearce's City run us pretty close now having lost 12 of the last 14 on the road. They also have the worst away record this season with just one point from the 15 available, and a goal difference of -10. In fact the win over Aston Villa has been City's ONLY away win since they beat us 5-2 in December last year.
After 26 previous years spent in the same division as City, honours are remarkably close with the Addicks claiming 19 victories to their 20 with 13 drawn games. At the Valley we have the edge with 11 wins, 7 defeats and 8 draws.
Recently, however, its been much like our record against Bolton with no victories coming in the last 7 games. In fact you have to go back to Nov 2002 to see the last victory when we got a 1-0 away win and to August 2000 for our last home win, when we celebrated our return to the Premiership with a 4-0 win.
More recently I'm sure nobody has forgotten the disastrous 5-2 defeat last December which became our 5th defeat in a row which was the run that took us from 2nd to 12th.
Talk the Talk
In an interview today, Monica has this, among other things, to say: "We know it's going to be tough, Stuart's got most of his team back fit, but we believe that if we do things right - make it a real passionate atmosphere - we'll get the result."
City away form is what concerns us really, so to recap - they started the season badly with a 3-0 defeat at Chelsea, then lost at Reading 1-0, more of the same at Blackburn 4-2, a League Cup defeat at Chesterfield 2-1 and followed that with a draw at Everton where a last minute goal gave them their solitary away point of the season with a 1-1 draw. Unfortunately, then reverted to more bad habits going down in their last away game 4-0 at Wigan.
They've won three times this year all at home , 1-0 to Arsenal back in August and a 2-0 win against West Ham last month before Mondays 1-0 win over Middlesbrough. A goalless draw with Sheff. Utd completes their games.
With the defence outstanding last Saturday at St. James Park it would be strange to change anything there and in fact its possibly time for Monica to take a leaf out of Rafa's book and keep an unchanged team. The only foreseeable change would be the return of "Jerry" Thomas, if fit. This does seem unlikely, however, so it seems a straight choice between one forward or two. Two seems more likely with both Bents up-front and Rommedahl, Faye, Reid and either Holland or Hughes out left. Holland seems to have the vote at the moment so Hughes will probably sit on the bench alongside, Jimmy-Floyd, Kish, Fortune and Myhre.
Our Pedro45, who has apparently got luck going his way, confidently forecasts a 2-1 Addicks win. Lawrenson is also on a bit of a run getting 8 results right last week. And what does he say about tomorrow? Well, due to "Citys' defensive frailities" he has it down as a 2-0 Home.........
Me, I haven't a clue.