Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Parker to face Charlton for the first time?

Charlton take the long trip up to St James Park tomorrow to face Newcastle, and Scott Parker for the first time since he was sold to Chelsea a couple of years ago.

Parker was suspended for Newcastle's capitulation at Anfield yesterday, and looks certain to replace Lee Bowyer, who was sent off against Liverpool and is therefore suspended tomorrow. Newcastle will also be without Steven Taylor, who dislocated his shoulder in the same game.

Charlton will also need to make changes - Danny Murphy also got himself sent off on Boxing Day, and Gonzalo Sorondo is injured and will definitely miss the game too.

With this being the second game in two days, it is likley that other changes will need to be made, and other players will undoubtedly get their chance in the side.

I expect to see either Chris Perry or Jonathan Spector (who looked much more comfortable there against Arsenal than he has at left back) return to the centre of Charlton's defence in place of Sorondo, and either Alexei Smertin (if fit) or Darren Ambrose (left) replace Murphy. If Smertin can play, I would like Ambrose to come into the team and face his former team-mates in place of Bryan Hughes, who looked out of position and depth on the left wing yesterday.

Dennis Rommedahl, Jason Euell, Talal El Karkouri (if he's recoved from the strop he threw before yesterdays game after being told he didn't feature), and Chris Powell, could all also be involved, especially if Curbishley reverts to a 4-5-1 formation.

With Newcastle in disarray once more and Sounness's head seemingly on the block, it would be a good time for Charlton to get a result on a ground where they have previously and recently done well, and see another manager dismissed after a defeat against Charlton.

On the minus side, Alan Shearer needs just one goal to reach 200 for Newcastle, and equal Jackie Milburn's club record. He has a recent habit of scoring against the Addicks.

Any result for Charlton would be a big bonus, and it is a game that they should look forward to after the revitalised display against the Gunners. Come on you reds!

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