As I was saying only a couple of weeks ago, the Addicks are not usually very good at run-ins.
But we are still on top, eleven points clear of third placed Wednesday and need 19 more points to ensure automatic promotion. Of course we won't need all 19 as games become harder for everyone and not only for us as Sheff Utd found out on Tuesday. Looking at our last ten games, we can divide them neatly into 5 homes and 5 aways. Our away form is by far the best in the Division and would appear, if you believe Yann, to be where our players feel most at ease.
But, sorry Yann, the 5 aways would appear to be much more tougher that the home games. They are in sequence: Scunthorpe, Huddersfield, Oldham, Carlisle and Preston, so lets have a closer look to see our chances.
Scunthorpe are the first this weekend. They are currently 18th, only 6 points from safely so need the points badly and they are showing a fighting spirit to avoid a second successive relegation as they demonstrated on Tuesday with a 90th minute equaliser at Yeovil . Their long trip to Yeovil may work to our advantage but they are still 9th in current form over the last 8 games with a record of W3 D3 L2. In contrast their seasons record at home is not good reading as they have a total of 7 home defeats and only Orient have won less home points although they are fighting as a record of W2 D1 L2 over the last 5 homes shows. On the bright side they are not renowned for their exploits against the top half and are 17th in those games with only 2 wins against the best in the League. However, they did drew 1-1 at the Valley and another draw as we dig our heels in after our two defeats does looks likely.
Huddersfield are the next away game. Lying 4th but only 11th in current form with a record of W2 D5 L1 they lie 3 points behind Wednesday.They only have 2 home defeats and might want revenge for their record breaking defeat at the Valley. They also lie 3rd in getting points against the top 12 teams with 7 wins. Another draw....
Oldham are next. 14th in the table and currently 8 points from safety. 15th on current form with 4 defeats in the last 8 games and another team with 7 home defeats.They also have the same home record as Scunthorpe over the last 5 with W2 D1 L2. Their record against the top half is also bad with only 3 wins recorded. A Win surely.
Six games from now in Game 43, and Carlisle await us on April 14th. Currently 7th and only 1 point off the Play-Offs they are fighting for the 6th place with Notts County and Stevenage. Eighth on current form with 4 wins in the last 8 games and with only 3 home defeats all season and one of the 6 teams to record more than 10 home wins. Also with 4 home victories in the last 5 home games and a record of 5 wins against the best in the League. But we have a good record against Carlisle with 7 wins in the last 9 games and have already beaten them twice this season at the Valley scoring 6 and conceding none. Draw
And lastly there's Preston North End. Slowly sliding down the League and currently in 15th but are 22nd on current form with only 1 win in the last 8 games. Six home defeats and a record of W1 D3 L1 in their last 5 at home add to a sense that the Addicks can get the three points. But, like Carlisle, they do have a good record of 5 wins against the best in the League. Trouble is by the time we play them they may need the points desperately so a Draw.
The five home games are against Yeovil, Orient, Walsall, Wycombe and Hartlepool. An easier set of teams you couldn't imagine surely in 13th, 17th, 20th, 22nd and 11th place respectively and a record of 39 away defeats among them. Nobody going for promotion but there are three teams looking to avoid the drop.
The first to arrive for the expected slaughter in just 5 days time are Yeovil Town. As we said they are currently 13th with a total of 7 away defeats, but as is common among the bottom teams at this time of the season they are fighting for survival and are currently 2nd in the form table with a record of W5 D1 L2 over the last 8. More to the point perhaps is that they have won 3 of their last 5 away games at Oldham, MK Dons and Wycombe. And they know how to score goals at the Valley with 5 in their 4 visits. They beat us 1-0 in a league cup game in August 2008 in their first ever visit to us and had a 2-3 loss in Novenber 2010 when they twice came back to equalise goals from JJ and Racon before JJ got his second goal from the penalty spot 5 minutes from time. So expect a fight. A Draw.
After Yeovil come Leyton Orient. Currently lying a worrying 19th, 6 points above Exeter and safety. They are also 19th in current form with a record of W2 D2 L4 so are not showing much of a fight to stay in League One. But this is a derby and their away form shows 2 wins in their last 5 games at Bournemouth and Preston and a good total of 4 wins against the top half although we have the question of revenge for over 1-0 defeat in December. A Win
Game 42, just 5 to go, is at home to Walsall. Currently lying 20th, one place above Exeter and just 3 points from safety. But again with a record of W3 D3 L2 over the last 8, including a 3-2 win over Sheff. Utd, they too are fighting the drop and have only lost one game in their last 5 away. We play them in 5 games time on Easter Monday but they play 6 games before then so their fate could be a lot clearer as they have to play both Chesterfield and Rochdale. Moreover, they have a good record against the Addicks with 2 wins and 2 draws in the last 4 games and even won 1-0 at the Valley in December 2010. Their complete record at the Valley is good with 5 wins and 2 draws in the 14 games. On the plus side they only have 3 wins against teams in the top half this season. A Draw.
With just 3 games to go Wycombe Wanderers arrive at the Valley. Currently a fighting 14th on current form with 3 wins in the last 8, they are still languishing in 22nd spot, four points away from Walsall in the coveted 20th position. And its their away form which is letting them down with 12 away defeats and 5 in their last 5 aways. A Win..
As we all know, the last game of the season is against Hartlepool on May 5th. Currently stuck in a midtable 11th, 10 points off the Play-offs and an enormous 12 above the drop zone they will be happy to look forward to another League One season. An end of season Win then unless the trophy is already won in which case we'll probably lost.
So forecast for the Away games - 1 Win and 4 draws, 7 points
Home games - 3 wins and 2 draws, 11 points
A grand total of 96 points, enough for the Championship?.....