We just have to get the goal or goals that give us the three points, its as simple as that. And we couldn't, apparently, ask for better opponents. They've lost 13 games away from home, more than anybody else, and now their away record stands at eight defeats in a row, so really there's no excuses..... To call ourselves a Premiership club we now have to prove it.
Although they've lost loads, and not scored more than once in an away game all season, our opponents tomorrow do specialize in 1-0 away victories, three so far, at Newcastle, Watford and the last being at Wigan on December 16th. Since then they've lost at Portsmouth (1-3), Middlesbrough (1-3), Reading (1-3), Blackburn (1-2), Liverpool (0-4), Chelski (0-3), Bolton (0-1) and lastly manure (0-2).
Another bad record of theirs is that they've conceded five goals in the first five minutes of top flight games this term - more than any other club, but unfortunately for us the Addicks are also bad starters at the other end and have failed to score in any game in the first 10 minutes. In fact, the only Charlton goals in the first quarter of an hour of a game have been Darren's penalty at Upton Park on the opening day and the Elk free-kick at Bolton in January.
Winless at the Valley since 1971
With our appalling record of only 3 Charlton wins at 26 games at Bramall Lane, its comforting that exactly the same is true of our opponents. They also have won only 3 times at the Valley, the last time being 36 years ago and the last time they beat us in top-flight football at the Valley was on Sept. 21st 1946, in other words, a very long time ago.
Defender Phil Jagielka is still one of their key men and after the injured Rob Hulse is their leading scorer with 4 goals. Probably one of their most prominent men wouldn't be on the pitch however, but will be busy ranting and rageing from the touchline. And just when we assumed they would come for the draw, he tries to upset us all by saying "It’s an intriguing game. Everybody is nervous and excited about it. But we have to play to win. I don’t think we can go for a draw. The good thing is that I can see us scoring in away games now. We’ve got to go for it in every one of our last four matches."
Wingers and Width
And just to cheer us up, and maybe prepare us for the worst, Pards has come out and told us that litttle Darren is also suffering from that most mundane of injuries, "a knock" - sorry, its now a thigh problem - , thus making team selection even less complicated although the thought of Kevin Lisbie leading the line does give me the shivers.
In midfield, he could bring in captain-nice Matty Holland for Amdy Faye and if he's got the chance of a fully fit Jerry Thomas then he'll be on at the start in place of Ambrose.
So its; Carson, Young, El Karkouri, Diawara, Thatcher, Rommedahl, Zheng Zhi, Song, Holland, Thomas, D. Bent.