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Friday, February 22, 2008

Fizzy No. 34 - Blackpool (a)

So even Pardew reckons that time is running out for the Addicks to achieve that disappearing second spot although Killer himself is clearly not convinced that tomorrow will be any different, 'cause he's gone for another stalemate, a 1-1 draw.
And you can't really blame him as its another away game against bottom half opposition which these days seems to tax us more than most. That last away win was back on December 4th, 2-0 over Cardiff and is it a coincidence that it was the last time Reidie scored for us before his departure?
Since then we're gone 6 without a win on our travels, with 4 draws - Norwich, Leicester, Watford, Wednesday - and 2 defeats, West Brom and Scunthorpe.
And what of Blackpool? In the crazy fixture list that we have, its only a month since we played them and we had our biggest win of the season, 4-1. Goals by Bougherra in the 6th minute, Varney in the 10th and two from ZiZi in the 24 and 72. So an early breakthrough, unusual for us.
But although they are 15th in the table, 13 points behind us, that's mostly down to their poor away record. For their home form is not at all bad with 25 points won at home, just 3 less than us with one less game played. And only 3 home defeats against Norwich, Cardiff and Stoke. Bristol City, Plymouth and Sheffield Uoo have all gone away with only a point while Addick-beaters QPR, Burnley and Scunthorpe were all beaten....And Blackpool are now unbeaten at home in 5 games.
But whats our record up there at Bloomfield Road? Well, pretty bad and that's probably the reason for Killer's pessimism. Only 4 wins and 5 draws in 25 games, although we did win there the last time we went, 2-0 in 1981. But there's been some almighty hammerings over the years with an 8-4, a 7-1, a 6-0 and a 6-1 and a couple of 5-0's all reminding us that Blackpool were once a Big Club.
But, of course, they're not any more and like lowly Colchester and Scunthorpe with average gates around the 6000 mark, Bloomfield Road is also a small ground and has yet to see a 5 figure crowd this season. And as we all know the Addicks like playing the current Big Clubs and the thought of going to a small ground will not be pleasing Pards, or Killer..
As for their players, they only have a trio in the ACTIM top 100 fizzies, pint-sized No. 11, the Irish winger-midfielder Wes Hoolahan and the Scottish ex-Leeds and Celtic full-back Stephen Crainey and not forgetting their star player, as far as ACTIM are concerned, the ever-present, ex-Addicks, goalkeeper Paul Rachubka...
Top goalscorers are Hoolahan and Ben Burgess with 5 each and as a team they do like to shoot a lot and are one of only 6 teams in the fizzies with over 200 shots so far but have been a bit unlucky hitting the woodwork no less than 21 times, more than anybody else.
The Addicks then. With a accumulation of yellows, Kelly Youga is out and presumably Grant Basey will take his place for his 7th game of the season.
Halford will continue at right-back and its up to Pards to see who will partner McCarthy at centre-back, Bougherra or Fortune, and will Pards consider the conceding of 2 goals in a minute to Watford after only letting two in over the previous 5 games? This may prompt Pardew to make a change and go for Sammy Sodje in place of either of them.
Lee Cook is due for a start pretty soon after 2 sub appearances but Pardew may prefer it to be a home game and will stick with what he knows tomorrow especially with Basey returning for his first game for a while. Sam and Ambrose will therefore be out wide and midfield will be ZiZi and Holland with Varney and Gray up front.
Charlton: Weaver; Halford, McCarthy, Fortune, Basey; Sam, Holland, ZiZi, Ambrose; Gray, Varney.
Subs: Elliot, Sodje, Semedo, Cook, Iwelumo
Prediction: Seven points behind now so we have to win this one if we expect to ever get back to second so its a 2-1 win for me.

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