Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Banana Skin time

The minds of the fans and the thoughts of the manager and players turn to the Carling Cup tie with Carlisle tonight, a welcome relaxation from the trauma of recent Premiership games.

Carlisle will be useful opponents, and should not be taken too lightly; they have won back-to-back promotions, and currently sit safely in eighth place in the First Division. Iain Dowie has confirmed he will put up a "first team" against them, but that certain players are in need of a game, and they will probably feature.

So who can the paying punters expect to see turn out for the Addicks tonight?

In goal, Scott Carson may well get a rest; he has taken a little stick for the Portsmouth goal on Saturday, but the main reason for him to rest is for Thomas Myrhe or Stephan Andersen to get a run out. I expect Myrhe to start, with Andersen as the sub.

The defensive situation is still pretty dire, with injuries and suspensions ruling out a number of key players. Luke Young may get a rest tonight, as there is only so much that his troublesome ankle can take, and that could mean a debut for Nathan Ashton at left back. Jon Fortune played the second half on Saturday, but it is doubtful that his broken toe is fully healed; he may therefore sit this one out too. Talal El Karkouri should play, and I expect Amady Faye to line up alongside him once more. At right back, Radostin Kisheshev will continue, unless Dowie favours giving Osei Sankofa a run, which is a possibility.

In midfield, Bryan Hughes groin strain will probably keep him out again, but Matt Holland should start, as he is obviously in need of a full game. Omar Pouso will also probably play, and the intention will be for him to last longer than the 58 minutes he played on Saturday in an effort to build his fitness.

Out wide, Dennis Rommedahl is another who needs games, while Darren Ambrose is also a likely starter.

The forwards is the intriguing selection; I think Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink may be rested, giving a start to Marcus Bent, but should a lacklustre Darren Bent play (and risk injury) or Kevin Lisbie – another who "needs" a game? I'd go with Dazza, and hopefully take him off when the game is won.

This is the side I'd put out -

El Karkouri
Bent (M)
Bent (D)

Subs: Andersen, Lisbie, Fortune, Sankofa, Walker.

These games invariably act as banana skins to Charlton’s season; I just hope that tonight we can get through without a defeat, injury, or bookings!

Come on you reds!

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