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Thursday, December 18, 2008

Norwich City Preview

After Mondays cruel ending, a short trip to homely Norwich. The Canaries will have had a full week to recover from their unlucky 2-0 defeat at Reading, where two goals in the last 6 minutes, the first a penalty very similar to our own first conceded goal, lost the game while the Addicks must get rid of any lingering depression even quicker.
But this has been a season of bad luck and kicks in the teeth so we should be getting used to it and the last time we suffered a similar setback the team recovered very well. Just over a long month ago a last gasp equaliser by Mpenza earned Plymouth a 2-2 draw. And the following week the Addicks faced a difficult trip to Birmingham but showed their character by going ahead after conceding an early goal and became the first side this season to put two goals past Maik Taylor and went in at half-time 2-1 up. It didn't last that day but Norwich shouldn't be so difficult as St. Andrews.
As for Norwich, since '96 they have been lead by the country's favorite cook Delia and managed by Glen Roeder since October 2007 but they had a nervous season last year surviving the cut with a 3-0 win over QPR on the penultimate day and finished 17th. Formed in 1902, appropriately enough by two blokes down the local cafe, and although riding high in the early 90's with famous exploits in the UEFA cup its been all about survival, apart from one season in the top flight, ever since relegation from the Premiership in '95 after 10 years in the top flight.
Sitting in 20th with 5 more points than the Addicks but the bad news is, of course, that with only one game left before Christmas day we cannot avoid spending the festivities in the bottom three with all that means as far as history is concerned. But even thats not all bad news, last year all three went down but the previous year Hull, in 22nd place on Christmas Day did save themselves at the expense of Luton Town.
Norwich have a decent record at home and have won 4 times and you'll be surprised to learn that they'll turned over the likes of Sheff. Utd 1-0, Doncaster 2-1 and local rivals Ipswich as well as handing Wolves their biggest spanking of the season, a 5-2 hammering where ex Addick Leroy Lita, on loan, scored a hat-trick.
Form Guide With just two wins in the last 10 ( away to Forest 2-1 and home in the derby against Ipswich 2-0) Norwich have 7 points from their last 24 whilst the Addicks have improved with 3 draws in their last 8 games. Both teams have 5 defeats in their last 8 games. We've both failed to score 7 times. And while the Addicks and Watford lead the field in goals conceded, 39 apiece, Norwich are not far behind with 36 let in.
Who've They Got? Top goalscorers are Leroy Lita on 6 with Lee Croft and Lupoli on 4 each. We know all about Lita and right-winger Croft is ex-Man.City but number 18 is Arturo Lupoli is a 21 year old Italian from Fiorentina, one of 7 on loan players, and was previously a key member of Arsene Wenger's Carling Cup youngsters.
On loan defender Celtic's John Kennedy has injury problems and is almost certainly out of the game as is the ex-Portsmouth Serbian defender Dejan Stefanović and Roeder currently has only Gary Doherty and Elliot Omozusi available in central defence and has been hunting around for a loan defender.
Captain is the ex celtic midfielder Mark Fotheringham who did a Semedo last weekend handling the ball in the area to give Reading their first goal from the penalty spot in the 84th minute just when a well-earned point looked on the cards.
They also have on-loan Wigan striker Antoine Sibierski. Sibierski has had a stop-start career during his loan spell with Norwich, hitting the target twice on his debut but struggling with niggling injuries since then.

DangerMan! Tuesdays dangerman Rob Hulse was absent with flu but his replacement Ellington scored twice to kill our hopes of a first win in 13. Saturdays dangerman has to be Leroy Lita. Norwich top scorer and ex-Addick to boot he's had a weeks rest after, unlike Varney, not being allowed to face his own club Reading. With only three goals for the Addicks in 8 games, he's already got double that with the Canaries from 13 games. Number 44, Parky.

What's Their Secret? Not a secret more an admission really, is that they love the other team to score first. Nobody does it better in the fizzies, 15 times out of 23 and they have the worst half-time record of all, only leading 3 times, with 12 draws. And they've only scored 7 times in the first 45, whilst the Addicks have done it 13 times. But, on the other hand, they are not one of the dwindling group of eight teams (us included) that have failed to win after going behind having overcome Doncaster at home with two goals in the last 7 minutes.

And while both teams have reasonable records against top half teams (the Addicks getting 11 points with the Canaries on 12) we are both pretty bad in the 6 pointer department. The Addicks have only got 7 points against the crap with 1 win over Doncaster to show for our efforts against bottom half clubs and are bottom in this table whereas Norwich have only 3 wins and 2 draws and are second to bottom.

Who's Talking? Two remarkably similar tones from the managers with Roeder after Saturdays late penalty complaining, "If that is not a 'homer's penalty' then I have never seen one. He (Kettle) didn't want to speak to me after the game, so with that I rest my case. Everyone gave 100 per cent and played for the shirt with pride and I feel for them because they have been let down. They didn't deserve that."
Meanwhile Parky praised the team after Tuesday's draw "It's a blow for us, but we'll take the positives from the performance, which was superb"

History After suffering recently we travel to the Addicks nearest and dearest places, Norwich. Its true we've won more times at Derby (12) but apart from those distant second homes, Cardiff and Bristol City (11 away wins each) there's nowhere quite like Carrow Road where we've won 11 and drawn 9 out of 34 games. And overall there's nobody in the fizzies that we've had more luck against than the Canaries and overall in the League its an impressive 31-20 to the Addicks.

We've won 8 out of the last 12 games going back 13 years, 4 of them at Carrow Rd with only one defeat in the 12 and that in the Premiership 3 years ago.

Team News How are the team going to react after Tuesdays disappointment? Cruelly done by with not only a harsh penalty decision but with then playing more added-on time than signalled. They deserved a win but when will it come? And just one point from the two home games against two very average teams doesn't look good on Parky's CV although the passion was clearly there. Hudson's confirmed that the team has recovered and been hard at work "with a bit of paintballing and team bonding".
A defence that commanded most of the game and enough chances were created on Tuesday against Derby's leaky defence to have got 4 or 5 on a good night so it looks as if there's not going to be any changes at the weekend. All the changes seemed to work on Tuesday with youngsters Elliot, Basey and Waghorn, at 22, 20 and 18 all deserving another game.

Prediction Another 6 pointer headache for Parky - they're all Cup finals from now on - its perhaps a pointer to the result that all the successful punters on CAFC Picks on double correct guesses forecast either a draw or a defeat. Perhaps they don't know our good record there or were they aware of Leroy Lita. But with even regular forecaster drinkingduringthegame seeing a depressing 2-0 defeat perhaps we're all lost all expectations we may have had. Well, I can't forecast two defeats in a row so its a surprising 1-0 win for me - a header from Hudson - or will it be 18 year old Waghorn enjoying it. Because I certainly enjoy seeing him play and on that note I just want to add good riddance to Varney who showed his true style on Tuesday by celebrating both his new teams goals even after all the patience we have shown him.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Derby County Preview

After presumably tapping up the Coventry management, after the game of course, for any useful tips on how to avoid the drop after all their experience over the last 30 years, what better team to follow them at the Valley than Derby County. For with the Addicks homing in on our club record of 16 games without a win ( dating back to 1955) who better than the Rams to show the way as regards records that nobody wants. Last season, if you remember, the Rams were pretty hopeless at winning games.
So at this point it wouldn't be right unless we took the opportunity to enjoy ourselves a little bit by reminding everyone of Derby's recent enthusiasm in breaking as many records in that department as possible. County became the first club to be relegated from the Premier League in March, recorded the Premier League's lowest-ever points total with just 11 and equalled Loughborough's 108-year Football League record of going through an entire season with only one win. They finished a massive 76 points behind the champions of the Premier with a goal difference of minus 69.
Derby's match at home to Sheffield United on 13 September 2008 was eagerly awaited as it was approaching a year since Derby's last league win, a run which saw the club also break the English league record for most matches without a win, which I believe now stands to Derby at 36 games. And its a timely reminder of the feeling ex-players have for their old club that, just four days short of the anniversary of the 1-0 win over Newcastle, former Blades player Rob Hulse scored against his former club as Derby ran out 2-1 winners, earning Paul Jewell his first league win as Derby boss at his 27th attempt.
So it only remains for Parky to hope that the Directors have as much faith in him as obviously his Derby counterparts had in Paul Jewell, although he's only safe until the 31st apparently. If he had 27 games to get it right it would take Parky till the, highly appropriate, away fixture against none other than Derby County in April to get a League win.
And last season can show us something else as well regarding our own relegation issues, because after 21 games last season Preston were bottom on 18 - but finished in 17th - with QPR and Colchester on 20. But, of course, the crucial date is for some reason is held to be Christmas Day. On December 25th last year the bottom three were - Colchester, Scunthorpe and Leicester. All three went down. Preston had taken on Billy Irvine on the 20th November when they were 4th from bottom and his first game was a 2-0 home defeat by the Addicks. He would hit rock bottom before surging up the table.
Form Guide Mondays game promises to be a real humdinger, as it brings face to face the two worst teams in the fizzies on current form. You wouldn't need reminding that we've only two points to show from the last 8 games while the Rams have an equally pitiful 5 from 1 win and 3 draws. With only 2 wins to show from the last 11 games, Jewell will nevertheless point out that they were both handsome wins, 3-1 over Norwich and 3-0 over Sheff. Wednesday. But currently its three successive League defeats now for Derby ( ignoring the League Cup) and 4 straight away defeats at Reading 0-3, Ipswich 0-2, Burnley 0-3 and most recently, Wolves 0-3. All you will notice without a goal being scored.
Who They Got? The Rams have been having fun and games in the League Cup with 5 victories over Lincoln, Preston, Brighton, Leeds and last week an away win over Stoke City and have now reached the semis. And with 36 goals scored altogether they have strikers galore getting goals; Ellington on 7, Hulse and Villa on 6 and Green on 5. And to add the killer punch they now have Luke Varney. Judging from recent lineups he'll be sure to start alongside Hulse and knowing our luck is as likely as not to get a least one goal.

DangerMan! The man to watch out for this week is number 11 Rob Hulse. Already on 6 goals, the ex West Brom, Leeds and Sheff. U striker has been transferred on a regular basis in multi-million pound deals and joined the Rams in the summer for 1.75M. One of Dario Gradi products from Crewe, he left there in 2003 to join WBA just as Luke Varney arrived.
What's Their Secret? An inability to score away from home at the moment and the team with the fewest clean sheets in the fizzies, just 2 out of 21 games so conceding goals is something they do, with only Watford and ourselves conceding more. But, although there's only a couple of last seasons players still around, Jewell will know only too well what the mood in SE7 will be like and this will be their biggest advantage. For while we can only guess what the home dressing room will be like tonight, the Rams boss will know exactly whats going through our players minds and he will surely use that knowledge to get the upper hand, in much the same way that Chris Coleman did on Tuesday.
What're They saying? Coventry manager Chris Coleman:"We felt if we could keep them quiet, get on top and make them make mistakes then the fans would get on top of them. We played on the counter-attack and it worked. But it's hard walking off at the end. It's not a lack of hard work, things just aren't coming off for them."
And there's also news from the Board. Richard Murray clears the air with: "As there can be no changes to the squad until the transfer window it's our view to give Phil up until the end of the year. There will then be a strategic review of the position." So Parky has 4 more games to prove his worth - ironic then that that would give him 8 games in all, the same number than Les Reed had two years ago..
History Although only Sheff.Wed in the fizzies have spent more years in the top flight than Derby, its the Rams, of all the teams in the fizzies, that we have played most times of all - 72 League games no less. And it'll come as no surprise then to know that nobody in the fizzies has won more times at the Valley than Derby County - 14 times in all, one more than Wolves. Overall its close 28-27 to them with 17 draws.
Team News With the change in the dynamics apparently gone a bit flat, perhaps its time to insert a couple of young bloods into the team to shake things up a bit. Shelvey for instance in midfield and with the unfortunate injury to new recruit McEveley, one loanee place is up for grabs so there's room for young Waghorn to impress. So how about Todorov and Waghorn for a striker force with Moutaouakil and Youga on the flanks. Drop, sorry rest, one of Gillespie or Bouazza and keep three in midfield with Semedo and Bailey.
So Parky, thats:
Weaver; Moutaouakil, Hudson, Fortune, Youga; Gillespie, Semedo, Shelvey, Bailey; Todorov and Waghorn.

Prediction Whatever the team chosen, the most obvious conclusion is that this is going to be a defeat. There's simply no way that a team, after suffering a year without a win, are going to allow us to escape from enjoying more of the same. With the same sadism that the israelis show now towards the palestinians after their own horrendous experiences (sorry, shouldn't say that), Derby will enjoy making sure that someones else nose is being rubbed in it.
A 0-2 defeat with Varney and Hulse scoring seems about right unless they really want to turn nasty in which case it could be four or five. The only question is...will the boy celebrate? I'll leave it to you to decide.

Monday, December 08, 2008

Coventry Preview

In a season where nothing has gone right, it somehow seems appropriate that we have to travel all the way to the Blackpool lights, play in front of a meagre 6,000 people, lose the game to the Seasiders and sunk to rock bottom in the table at 10 to 5. And we can't say it wasn't expected, even with all the optimistic talk before hand. And it feels a bit like those Second World war submarine films where the anxious crew are watching the depth gauge going past their maximum depth until finally, to everyones relief, the sub hits the bottom and they're all still alive. Because its all a bit of a relief to know we can't go any lower, at least for another 5 months...
Hopefully on the long trip home plans were being made to cope with the next hurdle and get us out of this mess by achieving the seemingly impossible task of actually winning a game.
And who better to give us a few tips on achieving the escape act than the most famous houdini club, Coventry. Back in the last century, the only thing that the Sky Blues were famous for (apart from that Cup Final) was their perpetual fight against relegation which sadly ended after 34 consecutive years in 2001. Gordon Strachan, now enjoying life much more in Glasgow, was in charge then and not able to cope with the shame, left a few months later. Since then they've had no less than eleven managers - OK, 5 were caretakers - before Chris Coleman's arrival last February.
As a probable consequence of so many managerial upheavals, finance at last ran out late last year but they were fortunate to find a saviour at the eleventh hour, when, just 30 minutes away from administration, with its impending 10 point penalty, millionaire ex-footballer Ran Ranson casting around for a club to buy, came to the rescue in December 2007 and took over the club.
He's now Chairman and shortly after he arrived there was the inevitable change in management. Iain Dowie was shown the door in another short-lived employment and Chris Coleman, still only 38, took over. Coleman had been in northern Spain working to revive the just relegated Real Sociedad. Employed on the recommendation of living legend, in San Sebastian anyway, John Toshack in July 2007 and tasked with taking them straight back to La Liga after relegation the previous month. He had just 6 months in San Sebastian and promotion back to La Liga was looking harder to achieve than he perhaps thought so three days after leaving Spain he was installed as Coventry boss.
As for the Sky Blues, last seasons flirtation with relegation appeared to have been solved and they started the season well with two wins at home to Norwich and away at Barnsley but its been pretty much downhill since then. Four defeats on the road, at Doncaster (0-1), Cardiff (1-2), Wolves (1-2) and most recently Reading (1-3). But after looking forward to the poor home form of Blackpool with no result, perhaps we should be wary of Coventry because their only two wins in the last eleven games were away at Birmingham and Wednesday both with 1-0 scorelines; two of the 5 occasions that they have stopped the opposition from scoring.

Form Guide Similar to Blackpool with only 2 wins in the last 8 games but after only 8 goals scored in the last 10 games, they improved by getting a couple at the weekend in the 2-2 home draw with Forest.

Who They Got? The Maltese mosquito, number 17, is Michael Mifsud who scored both of Coventry goals against us last season and after scoring just once this season will be more than eager to play against a team at the bottom of the table. And there's the troublesome number 10 Freddy Eastwood on two goals. But after Blackpool with 8 loanees, Coventry are completing lacking in any.

And Coventry appears to becoming a neo-Irish stonghold with 5 internationals although not all are Irish. Manchester-born goalkeeper Keiren Westwood - an old mate of Nicky Weaver from Man. City days - is one and made his international debut in May because of an Irish grandmother and Clinton Morrison also wears the green because of his grandmother. There's a real irishman in number 8 Michael Doyle from Dublin and number 21, last season player of the year, Jay Tabb, also wears irish green although born in not very Irish Tooting.


Leading goalscorer and captain is number 19, ex-Palarse and Birmingham, and Irish international, Clinton Morrison, with 7 in all games but it took him a while to adjust to fizzy football and he didn't score till late October but now with 5 fizzy goals in the last 9 games... Once a 4.5M buy by Birmingham, he's playing his first season at Coventry.
What's Their Secret? After last seasons relegation fight Coventry are among a host of clubs whose first priority is to get to half-time drawing, Coventry have done it 10 times out of 21 with the Addicks only 6 out of 21. But they like to score first and only 5 teams in the fizzies have gone in front more times than Coventry, 11 out of 21, but this conceals a soft centre as they then find it hard to hold a lead and this was aptly displayed on Saturday as the twice went ahead against Forest only to concede two equalisers.

And like a surprising number of teams - 10 in all - us included, they have still not won after going behind. But they do have a sting in the tail and have scored more goals in the last 5 minutes of games than in any other five minute spell with 6 goals being scored at the death.

What're They saying? Probably the most disheartening thing about the weekends result was the Parky's remark afterwards, "I can't dress it up, we got beat today by the better side." If Blackpool are better than us then we really do have problems.

Meanwhile Chris Coleman bemoaning injuries and lack of playing staff, told BBC Coventry & Warwickshire: "We are putting square pegs in round holes. We know the balance is not great and that needs to be put right."

History Coventry will hardly be looking forward to the Valley, a ground where they have only won once in 15 visits, a 2-1 win on 18th February 1967. Since then there have been 6 consecutive draws before our 4-1 success last May. We're not much better at their place so overall, ignoring 3 FA Cup games, its 10-9 to them with no less than 11 draws.

Team News Every job has its own terminology and one of the most annoying football ones, because we don't know what it means, is "he picked up a slight niggle". It happened to Todorov before the game at the weekend and his place on the bench was taken by Dickson so we don't know if Todorov can be expected to add a bit of class to tomorrow or not.

But surely a major faux pas was made by the Addicks management in the recent dealings with Derby. More obsessed by a full-back problem than a striker one, we got a full-back when we should really have swapped a striker for a striker and loaned Liam Dickinson for a month in exchange for Luke. And of course it was the ex-Derby man, incensed by our giving Luke to Derby, who was the main difference on Saturday.

Cranie may be left out of Tuesday due to his dislocated shoulder sustained over the weekend, giving right-back spot to Moutaouakil and perhaps giving a home debut to young Waghorn.
Weaver; Moutaouakil, Hudson, Fortune, McEveley; Gillespie, Semedo, Bailey, Bouazza; Gray, Burton.
Subs: Elliot, Holland, Dickson, Todorov, Waghorn. (Loanees in red)

Prediction With Pardew getting 1 point from his last 3 games in charge but with 6 goals scored, Parky, despite adding to the strikeforce, has the same number of points from his first three games but with only 1 goal scored. Less goals conceded and improved performances may be a bonus but goals and points must be got this week or the writing will surely be on the wall for Parky. Although lets be honest, a draw these days is the most we can expect, so as they are so common against the Sky Blues, 1-1 it is.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Blackpool Preview

An away trip to Blackpool is, by my geography, the farthest for us in the fizzies. A long way to go to visit the smallest ground in the Division, with only 9,650 fans allowed in. Current manager is Simon Grayson and he's perhaps a pointer to what we can hope for in our own situation. After being in charge of the reserves, he stepped up to caretaker manager in November 2005, taking over when Colin Hendry left, and after steering them clear of relegation, was appointed manager in August 2006.
And he's much loved by the fans already, for in his first full season he took the Tangerines back into Tier Two for the first time in 29 years in May 2007. In their first season in the fizzies they finished 19th, ten points behind us but only 2 above the relegation zone.
But what's happening now in their second season in the fizzies? They're currently 20th with 24 points, 7 clear of the Addicks. And luck seems to have dealt us a good hand for a change as they don't seem to like playing at home and whilst they have the 4th best record away only Southampton have a worst home one.
Only two wins so far at Bloomfield Rd this season over Barnsley 1-0 in September and Derby 3-2 in October with 3 draws (Coventry, Cardiff, and Palarse) and 5 defeats.

Form Guide Blackpool have lost their last three home games to Ipswich 0-1, Preston 1-3 and most recently Wednesday 0-2 and overall they're third bottom of the last-8-games table with 2 wins and a draw and even more defeats than we've had, five. The Addicks of course, prop up the form table with 4 draws and 4 defeats and without a win in 10. But after losing 4 games in a row and only scoring once they displayed their best talents at Plymouth on Saturday and came from behind to won 2-1 with two late goals.
Whats Their Secret? Like Southampton, Blackpool obviously knew a relegation fight was a possibility and are therefore another team that like to play it cautious for the first 45 and then push on in the second half. Eleven of their 20 games have reached half-time at 0-0 ( we have only enjoyed scoreless first-halfs 3 times ) and of their 20 goals scored only 6 come in the first 45. But while opening up and attacking more after the break they also let goals in as well. Of the 28 goals conceded 22 have been after the break. But to compensate, they have powers of recovery that the Addicks seem to have lost completely. Whereas the Addicks have still not won a game after going behind this season (although it was close at Plymouth), Blackpool have won twice; their game at Plymouth as mentioned was remarkably like our own except that they had twice as many shots on target as we did and didn't concede a 94th minute goal, whereas at Watford, after going behind 1-2 and then 2-3, they went on to win 4-3.

Who They Got? Top goalscorers are Ben Burgess on 6 and Gary Taylor-Fletcher on 4. And their goalkeeper is American born, ex-Addick Paul Rachubka, although he never actually played for us during his two year stint as reserve to Dean Kiely. And if you thought that our loanee situation of 7 was a bit over the top, think again because after Thursdays arrival of loan signings Liam Dickinson from Derby, Kyle Reid from West Ham and goalkeeper Graham Stack from Plymouth Blackpool now have 8. The only other player that you might know is another loanee 31 year old ex-Villa Lee Hendrie.

And the DangerMan this week is their new striker Liam Dickinson, above, on loan from Derby, He made the headlines last weekend, coming on as a 76th minute substitute in his very first fizzy game fresh from learning that Luke had joined the Rams. He scored with his first touch in the 79th minute and then scored the winner 3 minutes later. Seemingly the perfect sub he did very nicely at League One Huddersfield as well this season, also on loan, getting 6 goals in only 12 games. Perhaps it was the total of 4 yellow cards earned at Huddersfield which took him to Blackpool, or more likely its the arrival of new star Luke Varney who played 90 minutes for Derby in their defeat at Burnley.
History Despite Blackpools long time in lower divisions they have the best record against the Addicks of any of the other sides in the fizzies. Of the 24 seasons together they have won 52% of the games and lead us 25-13 with 10 draws. Luckily for us it's the Valley that they enjoy most having won there 10 times in 24 visits and they have a better percentage of wins there than anybody else in Tier Two. As for Bloomfield Rd, we've won just 4 times in 24 visits with 5 draws.
And to cap it all they've also managed to score over 100 goals against us in those 48 games and there's nobody else that we've ever played against thats done it so quickly and although they love the Valley, some of the defeats at Bloomfield have been pretty embarrassing. Letting in 5 goals 4 times, 6 on a couple of occasions, a 7 in 1963 and 8 goals in 1952. All of which goes to explain the 5-3 scoreline the last time we were there in February.
Our last win in Blackpool was in the previous game, in 1981, in our Third Division days by 2-0 but of the last 24 League games against them we've won just 4....
What're They Saying? Blackpool manager Grayson after the 2-1 win at Plymouth after going behind, "But we have a lot of faith and confidence in the players and they dug in there and showed the proper desire to get back into the game. They didn't fold, they kept going and got the result." and referring to Saturdays game, "We need to have a good tempo to our game, have high energy levels, go and close people down and get balls into the box. Somebody eventually will get beaten at our place and hopefully it is Charlton."
Parkinson on Fortune's return said: "I don't think it's a coincidence that the last clean sheet we kept was when he last played at Forest."
Team News Just when we thought we had solved our midfield problem with Semedo and Racon together another injury hits Therry. Its "a chondral defect of the patella" and to quote "we are going to drain the knee of the fluid and give him an injection. After that we will monitor the injury and decide whether Therry needs an operation or not. If he doesn't require an op, then hopefully he will only be out for the short term." The patella is the knee cap and a chondral defect seems to refer to cartilage trouble, so you won't expect Therry to return quickly.
Meanwhile, there's injury news that Andy Gray, who was subbed on Saturday has a slight hamstring strain.
But at least the numbers given concerning Jon Fortune look good. When he has played, Charlton have conceded just nine goals in as many games. However, during his absence the Addicks shipped a massive 25 goals in 13 matches,
So with a first clean sheet in 13 games its pretty certain that the defence will remain the same as against the Saints.
Semedo and Bailey will remain in midfield and even after his exploits with the U-18's Premiership interest will surely keep Shelvey out of sight of even a surprise inclusion. Gillespie and Bouazza remain on the wings and that leaves new favorite Leon Burton up front with a likely appearance from McLeod if Andy Gray doesn't make it.
Weaver; Cranie, Hudson, Fortune, McEveley; Gillespie, Semedo, Bailey, Bouazza; McLeod, Burton
Subs: Elliot, Moutaoukil, Holland, Sam, Todorov

Prediction We just have to start winning soon and basing my prediction on desire rather than calculation, its a 2-1 Addicks win for me. And with Big Sam reportedly waiting in the wings, its surely a must-win game for Parky.