There's already been a little speculation as to who will play against Wigan on Saturday. Pardew has just told us that he expected 4 points against Newcastle and Wigan and therefore is oddly enough looking at getting a draw, but is that just meant to confuse the opposition? He's already admitted that draws are no good to us in the current situation so he's sure to continue with an attacking 4-4-2.
But will ZiZi continue where he left off and play behind Darren and is Song fit to return? Will Pards keep the same defence that kept out Newcastle? There's been no clues on who can return from injury, eg Song, Thatcher and Ambrose although it seems that Jimmy- F is definitely out and there's one report that Andy Reid is out for the rest of the season. One player who is 100% sure of playing though, bearing last minute illness and the odd suspension, is number 12 Talal El Karkouri.
The Addicks have nobody that has played every Premiership game but currently have two players that have played all but one game this season - Carson and the Elk and neither have been substitued. Carson, of course, missed the game against Liverpool because of the loan agreement while the Elk was suspended for the game at the theatre of nightmares.
The Elk has also weighted in with a couple of priceless goals, both from his legendary free-kicks, getting the last minute goal to beat Blackburn at the Valley on the historic December 5th and then another at the Reebok against Bolton in our 1-1 draw. True, he has had other less productive efforts that are too numerous to list and there were even fears that he wanted to take last weeks penalty but was out-muscled by a determined Jerry. And OK he does sometimes make the odd clumsy challenge, 6 yellows do confirm that but he's been our defensive king-pin this season with all three of our managers.
And he's one player who has definitely benefited from the change in management. After injuries last season, Curbs eventually loaned him out to Al Gharafa in Qatar in April with the idea of a permanent move in a season where he only made 4 appearances for the Addicks. The previous year, in his first season with the Addicks, 2004-05, he made 28 appearances and finished 2nd highest goal-scorer with 5 goals, just 1 behind leading scorer Shawn Bartlett.
So, love him or hate him, he'll be there again on Saturday stepping up to take the inevitable long-range free-kicks. But, a word of advice and like my teacher always used to tell me - keep your bloody knee over the ball!!