Thursday, January 12, 2006

The Blue view

Charlton take on Birmingham on Saturday, at The Valley, in a very important Premiership fixture for both clubs. Charlton have not been in the best of form lately, while Birmingham have been in a slight revival, Steve Bruce has been very obvious in the transfer window so far, while Alan Curbishley has been furiously trying to deny that he is selling anyone, let alone trying to buy.

Curbs (above) actually has a pretty good record against his old clubs - West Ham, Villa, and Birmingham. We'd probably beat Brighton too if we ever played them these days!

A win will cement Charlton's season, and lead to a levelling off I think and a mid-table finish; talk of relegation should disappear if the Addicks can win three points here. A defeat will leave teams like Birmingham, Portsmouth, Everton, and Albion all hoping that they can catch up with Charlton over the next month or so, and the pressure would then almost certainly be on.

The official site match preview is here.

Luke Young is almost certain to return to captain the side after being rested for the Wednesday cup game last week, and there may be other changes after the reserves had a good workout on Monday.

This is the side I think Curbs will put out aginst the Brummies -

Myrhe, Young, Fortune, Hreidersson, Powell, Holland, Kishishev, Hughes, Rommedahl, Bartlett, Bent.

Subs will come from Andersen, Perry, Spector, Lisbie, Euell, Johansson, Bothroyd, Thomas, and Ambrose.

It doesn't sound as if Danny Murphy is going to be fit, although he and Smertin were said to have trained late last week. If they are both fit, then one of them could come into the team in place of Bryan Hughes.

Hughes himself will be hoping to play against his old team - wouldn't it be nice if he did what many ex-Charlton players have done and scored against his old club!

My one to watch for the Brummie game is going to be Jon Fortune (left), who will have his hands full with Emile Heskey this weekend. Fortune had to bide his time to get into the team this season, but he always does his best, even when this is obviously not good enough against the best players (he must have nightmares about Theirry Henry!). He is the right sort of player to mark big Bruno though, and it must be good for Hermann to get a rest from having to "fight" the big guys each week.

Pedro45's score forecast is a positive one, with Charlton coming away with a 2-0 win.

Curbs has yet to do any business in this transfer window, but I wouldn't be at all surprised if Jason Euell (left) gets his wish and is allowed to leave the club after Saturdays game. Should he sign for Birmingham beforehand, I expect Charlton to include a clause in his contract stating that he cannot play against Charlton this season, much as Scott Parker had when he left. With Jason gone, I expect Curbs to try to replace him with a similar attacking signing, so we could have some of the transfer movement at last that fans have been demanding.

On another matter, the spin surrounding the election of the clubs Supporters Director is gathering pace, with all the four candidates getting as many column inches as they can at every opportunity. I have yet to make my mind up who I will vote for, but I will say that I am not in favour of someone being in the post too long (ie more than one term) and I won't therefore be voting for Sue Townshend. This is nothing aginst her; I would have the same view whoever was the incumbent director. I believe that all four will have their manifesto's available within the club programme this weekend.

Come on you Reds!

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