Total Pageviews

Friday, November 23, 2007

Fizzy No. 17 - Preston (a)

The last time we went to Preston was 28 years ago in 1979 with a 1-1 draw the result. And you'll have to go back a further 15 games to the dark and distant days of October 1954, when it appeared that the games were played in water if you take any notice of the famous Tom Finney statue, before you'll find an Addicks victory by 2-1. That's 53 long and painful years ago....
Whether their new manager of one week, Alan Irvine, will have had time, or the inclination, to worry about the past is debatable and the team that he plays will also not be known until the day. He's reported as knowing all about the Addicks from last seasons games against Everton, which is fine by us but clearly wouldn't impress his players come kick-off .

What Form They Got?
Thirteen points won at home, only 1 less than the Addicks, have come from wins over Plymouth(!), Southampton, and Sheff. Wed and draws with Leicester, QPR, Bristol City and Norwich. Their only home defeat was a 0-3 reverse at the hands of a Kevin Lisbie-lead Colchester in August, three months ago...
As for their current form, home and away, its 6 points out of the last 18 with only 1 win in the last 7 games. But that win was over Plymouth, just 4 days after Plymouth had beaten the Addicks at the Valley....

Who's Pards Got to Fear?
French central defender Youl Mawene and yet another of our ex's, Kevin Nicholls, seem to be the stars with injury-prone Nicholls the captain of the side. Nicholls played 12 times for the Addicks during the mid-nineties before being sold to Wigan in 1999. Nicholls has become famous for his collecting of cards throughout his career at Leeds and Luton and perhaps its been his influence that has lead to Preston having accumulated the third most yellows in the League behind Stoke and Coventry. Heading the card collecting has been ex-Blackburn and Leicester Callum Davidson with a total of 7 yellows from his 14 games.
Ex-West Brom winger Darren Carter and the ex-Gills striker Ghanaian Patrick Agyemang are the top goalscorers with a meagre 3 goals each.

The Addicks.
After three wins in a week and three clean sheets to boot, the cursed International Break could not have come at a worst time for the Addicks. The head of steam generated by those victories could well have gone off the boil by now especially with the captain away in the Emerald Isle.
But what will Pards do with his skipper this time round? It was clearly a mistake to play him against Wolves after his last International run-abouts, but will he choose to include him against the rough-necks of Preston? It's true that this time he's had a far easier International Break with only one game last weekend against Wales but his performance that day was not very inspiring and it could be that the boy needs a little rest, especially with the demands of the forthcoming run of 5 fizzy games in 14 days.
Having said that, and even with a ready and waiting substitute in Matt Holland now fit to return, I can't see Pardew doing anything else but retaining his Best Eleven as follows:
Weaver; Mills, Sodje, Fortune, Basey; Sam, Semedo, ZiZi, Reid, Thomas; Iwelumo.
Holland should at least make the bench with Varney, Bougherra and Ambrose and Randolph if he's recovered.

Their Home Form this season, new manageritis, our record at Deepdale, the game being on TV, our own form after an International Break......everything, except our recent good away form, would seem to be against us for tomorrow. Even Killer has gone for a 1-1 result and a draw would seem to be the popular bet but are we up for another battle? Other high yellow card earners Stoke and Coventry both gave us a hard time and with so many pointers against us, it would not surprise me to see us suffer again.
Of course, those games happened before Sammy Sodje's arrival and we can only hope that he will inject some fighting spirit into the team.

No comments: