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Friday, November 10, 2006

Wigan Preview

So, tomorrow we're off up north again, to the town of Wigan. After 3 games in a row against crap opposition we now face a team on a bit of a roll with 3 consecutive wins under their belt. Well, I suppose that a 1-0 over City and a League Cup win over Chesterfield qualifies us as on 2 wins in a row but I'm sure that Monica will not be deceived by any of that. Its obvious to everyone that Wigan will be a pretty stiff test for the Addicks.

Only elected to the Football League in 1978, Wigan last year enjoyed their best ever season, finishing in 10th spot in their first season in the Premiership and even managed to reach the League Cup Final, a feat beyond the Addicks ( until this year, of course).

As for their home record, Wigan have only had 4 home games so far but have won the same number of points, 7, as the Addicks have at home. These have come from beating Reading 1-0, drawing with Watford 1-1, a 1-3 loss to Manure, and finally 2 weeks ago they hammered Man.City 4-0 with 2 goals in the first 4 minutes that City never recovered from.

Since that last home win they have travelled to Craven Cottage and not only stopped Claus Jensen from scoring but also managed one themselves to win 1-0 and then also beat Bolton at the Reebok 1-0. So three games, 3 wins and no goals conceded....

As you can guess there's not much history to speak of as our visit last December was our first ever visit to the JJB Stadium and a dismal 3-0 defeat followed.

Talk the Talk
Interviewed yesterday Monica looks forward to Saturday's trip to Wigan.
"We are basing it around a good solid defence and they are coming together. We are not there yet, but we are certainly improving - three wins and two draws in five games is certainly the right way to go." Sounds a bit like an attempt to forewarn us to expect the worst.

After the last preview, against Chesterfield, where most of the reportably injured opponents not only played but scored, I'm not going to get drawn into any more mind games. They'll have eleven players out and at the moment they're all playing remarkably well.

We can say, however, that their top scorers are one Emile Heskey and the Senegal striker Henri Camara, with three goals each. He at least is well-known to our own Senegalese Souleymane Diawara and its only to be hoped that he can keep him from scoring this week.

The Addicks
With El Karkouri having the last week off with a tight hamstring, its assumed that it has now lossened-up and that he will return to the fray and complete our water-tight back-four of Young, El Karkouri, Diawara and Hreidarsson. While another snippet of insider news comes from Wyn who reminds us that Ramadan is now over and that both El Karkouri and Faye can once again enjoying eating and drinking in the daytime. All good news.

Andy Reid, Amady Faye and Jerry Thomas are all obvious starters in the midfield with Dennis Rommedahl's groin problem being the main doubt in Monica's mind. He'll be itching to continue with his belief in a 4-4-2 formation but just when his experiment with Reid behind Dead-eye Darren appears to be bearing fruit and he may see it as time to pack the midfield with five across the park with just Darren up front. In this case the midfield will probably read Hughes, Faye, Holland, Reid and Thomas.

Lawrenson sees it as a 1-1 draw which would be a very reasonable result as far as the Addicks are concerned. One recent favorite, the 0-0 draw, seems unlikely with Wigan having gone 50 League games since one and failing to score in only one game this season. Pedro45 knows what is coming and forecasts a 2-0 Wigan win, while newyorkaddick sees an Addicks victory as an astounding end to a very good week and goes with a 2-1 Addicks win with Darren and Andy Reid doing the damage. Wyn Grant fears a defeat and I must say I would tend to agree - Wigan 2 Addicks 1.

It has to be remembered, of course, that Charlton have now gone 19 games without an away win, and over a year since winning 2 Premiership games in a row. If we are to avoid relegation, this situation has to change soon.

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