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Friday, April 27, 2007

36 of 38 - Blackburn (away)

Latest count is that 5,700 Addicks will be up there at Ewood showing the players that they, at least, still believe that we can get out of this mess. In marked contrast we have all the various reports of players talking of leaving should the worst happen. But the bigger the Premiership gets the more high profile your players need to be to survive in it and those type of players don't relish the thought of even one season "down under" in the fizzy pops. And its pretty obvious that any loan players we have would have to be pretty desperate to want to stay with a club thats been relegated. So all three of them will obviously leave if we go down.

Its at least reassuring that with the acquisition of Dickson and Christensen, Pards does have a Plan B up his sleeve.

It all points to us having to do something spectacular at least once over the next couple of weeks. And one thing thats been missing this season is the spectacular. Give credit to Curbs there 'cause he always gave us at least one unexpected result that we could remember the season by. Last year it was beating Chelski in the League Cup, the year before, winning at both Everton and Spurs. He's also beaten Chelski 4-2 and won by the same score at Highbury. This years been more exciting, no doubt about that and we've had a couple of last-gasp winners to raise the roof but where's the one result that we can put up there in capitals. Well, there isn't one, yet.

Anyway, back to Blackburn. The official CAFC site reckons that 2 wins from the three games will be enough for survival so with a last day trip to Anfield scheduled that means that tomorrow is another must-win game. As we said recently only Chelski, Bolton, manure and the Arse have stopped Blackburn from scoring at home this season but then again Blackburn are the club with the fewest number of clean sheets in home Premiership games which probably explains how they've suffered 7 defeats. The above four plus Newcastle (1-3), West Ham (1-2) and Aston Villa (1-2) have also come away with the 3 points, the last two in the last 5 weeks.

So with 7 home defeats, one more than the Addicks, six points away from the team above them and 7 points off a UEFA place surely Blackburn will oblige and have another off day. Another piece of good news is that they, appear, unconcerned about getting revenge on teams that have already beaten them this season. Consequently, they have already been doubled 5 times this year, by the usual 2 plus the Arse, Villa and, rather luckily, the Hamsters. Despite our lowly position, the Addicks have only been doubled 4 times.


Anyone Remember Pitcher ?

It was the first time in living memory that Charlton had beaten a top-flight club in the FA Cup. After years of failure, in February 1994, we went up to Ewood Park for a Fourth Round cup tie after a goalless draw at the Valley. It finished 1-0 to the Addicks, the game being won by one Darren Pitcher, a goal that rather went to his head as he left for Palarse soon after.

But whatever your views about Pitcher, that 1-0 result was spectucular with a capital S - Blackburn, with Flowers, Le Saux, Moran, Batty, Shearer, were Premiership runners-up that season.

Now they'll be people you'll also remember our first trip to Wembley in exactly 40 years when we arrived there, as favorites, in March 1987, to play Blackburn in the Full Members' Cup Final only to lose 1-0 to a Hendry goal, but that wasn't important was it? Not like tomorrow.

And, we'll not be favorites tomorrow either, just ask Lawro, as League games at Ewood Park have usually gone against us with only 5 wins in 29 games. There's been 8 draws and 16 defeats.

Overall its Blackburn in front with 25 wins to Charltons 21 with 13 draws 13. And our last League win? October 20th 2003 with a Herminator header on a day when Di Canio and Johansson lead the line.

The Opponents
Pards, Watch that Pedersen Character

Last season was one of those useless trips into the North-West that Curbs so enjoyed. 4-1 was the score and to rub it in two of the goals were scored by those lovely characters Dickov and Bellamy.

This season its Benny McCarthy that we'll need to stop and we'll also need to watch high-scoring Morten Pedersen, rumoured to be off in the summer.

But just to emphazise that we'll have to be at our best, goalie Brad Friedel gives his opinion that, "We've played some really good football this season and have played ever so well in the last three games. We were desperately unlucky not to win at Fulham last weekend, but we'll keep battling on. We've got a game in hand on other teams and we're just going to keep doing our best to get to that seventh spot. To get the name of Blackburn out and about in Europe this season was a big thing."

The Addicks
Nerves away

Lets hope that over the last seven days Pardew has managed to find a cure from the attack of nerves that hit the team last weekend.

The only injury to last weeks squad is to Ben Thatcher so its odds on that the team will be another attacking eleven with:
Carson, Young, El Karkouri, Diawara, Hreidarsson, Rommedahl, Song, Ambrose, Thomas, Zheng, D.Bent.


The travelling support will force something to happen but few teams have stopped Blackburn from scoring at home this season and with the fewest number of clean sheets in home Premiership games this season, most teams seem to score at least once there so its bound to be another 1-1. Lawro, of course, has other ideas and seems to have already doomed us to the Big R and gives a 2-0 to finally write us off.

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