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Tuesday, December 05, 2006

16 of 38 - Blackburn (home)

So with only 4 games to go until the half-way mark, the Premier League boys have given us a present at last. After a tough fixture list that set the tone for the campaign they have decided to give us a Home Fixture on our Birthday. Thanks guys, we appreciate that.

For as you all know, today's the 14th Anniversary of the day when we finally returned to the Valley, and to emphasize how important its been to Charlton, we have never lost on this day since then. After Colin Walsh's goal against Pompey in 1992 we've then won at both Millwall and Stamford Bridge on a day never to be forgotten.

We all know that today is a Big Game - when you're at Rock Bottom they all are. But to provide us with a glimmer of hope that our run will continue let's remind you that we haven't lost at home since Sept 30th in a narrow 2-1 defeat to Arsenal. Plus the all-important fact that Blackburn are currently bottom of the table on form over the last 6 games, having only got 1 win, 1 draw and 4 defeats in their last 6 games. And they haven't scored away from home since 29th October at West Ham where David Bentley got a last minute consolation in a 2-1 defeat.

Looking at their away games, Blackburn started the season badly with a 3-0 defeat at Portsmouth, followed by a 0-0 at Sheffield, a 1-0 win at Middlesbro' and a 1-1 draw at Liverpool. A 2-1 defeat at West Ham followed and then a 2-0 defeat at Villa. So only 3 goals scored away from home in 6 games and only a single victory.

Maybe their participation in the UEFA Cup is affecting their league form for in Europe they have fared much better beating SV Red Bull Salzburg in the first round 2-0 at home after drawing 2-2 away. In the Group stage they have drew away from home with Feyenoord 0-0 and beaten Wisla Krakow 2-1.


We've played Blackburn 58 times with total of Charlton 20 wins, Blackburn 25, draws 13. But at home we are in front with Charlton 15 wins, Blackburn 9, draws 5.

The Opponents
Blackburn are a bit of multi-national outfit with long strange names, and out of 29 players they only have 6 Englishman - the Addicks in comparison have 13 out of 32.

Top goalscorer is the well-travelled South African Benni McCarthy with 4 Premiership goals and David Bentley with 2. Four others have got a goal each. And if you thought that Sheffield was physical, let me point out that only one team has collected more yellow cards - 33 - than Blackburn and they've also have 3 players sent-off. Watch out for the infamous Robbie Savage and someone going by the name of Zurab Khizanishvili who both have 5 yellows each. The Addicks bad boys are, of course, HH ( who probably will be on bench for the first time for a long while ) and Faye with 4.

They have our old boy Francis Jeffers who's only started 3 games in the Premiership, no surprise there then. Let's hope he stays well away, can't stand the thought of that little upstart scoring against us. And of course, old favorite Andy Todd is still at Ewood Park but has only started twice this season. They've also got the other Reid, Steven, that plays alongside Andy for the Irish.

The Addicks

The defence will be reinforced by the return of Diawara, gloves and all, adding a bit of class to the defence. But today we don't really need class, today is about Heart and Passion. The Team? Choose the eleven players that are going to fight for it. Show them the Table and get them angry, these players shouldn't be down there. We want, we demand, Passion tonight. The same fight and determination that we showed against Everton in the Second Half. And Les, as soon as anyone drops their head, get 'em off....

So Carson, Young, El Karkouri, Diawara, Traore, Rommerdahl, Faye, Reid, Holland, Darren Bent, Marcus Bent.

Whatever the result tonight we can only take heart from the standard of football that was displayed last night in the match between Man. City and Watford. Neither team could string 2 passes together, it was over a hour before I saw a shoot on goal and skill was non-evident. There was passion, however, shown by Watford, something we can only dream of.

Anyway back to tonight, one good thing about todays game is that Mr Lawro will not be giving an opinion. For me its either a shock 2-1 win to the Addicks or a 3-1 misery for Blackburn - you choose, I really can't decide......

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