Friday, September 08, 2006

Going for a Three-peat

Chelsea may have been the Premiership champions for the last two seasons, but Charlton are the team going for a third timer on Saturday afternoon at Stamford Bridge.

The Addicks were the only side to get anything other than a cool cup of tea from Mourinho's men in south-west London last season, drawing the league cup encounter before winning on penalties, and then repeating the trick by securing another 1-1 draw in the league. Darren Bent scored in the cup tie, and Marcus Bent on his debut in the league match.

Iain Dowie will be buoyed by the win against Bolton in the last game, a result which lifted Charlton from the foot of the table. Any sort of result tomorrow will again be welcomed.

Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink should, on his return, get a warm reception from the Bridge faithful, as long as those present are not just the Johnny-come-lately's that can afford humungous season ticket prices and who have forgotten the pre-Abramovich era.

Who will Dowie pick? The transfer window is now shut, and a number of players will be making their debuts on either side. For Chelsea, Ashley Cole is likely to play, having played more England games than league games so far this campaign. For Charlton, Diawara and Pouso are likely starters, with the Sengalese fitting into defence instead of the suspended Hreidersson. Charlton obviously have injury concerns over Luke Young and Darren Ambrose, both of whom pulled out of international games this week.

This is the side I think Dowie could start with -

Young (or El Karkouri)
El Karkouri (or Faye)
Faye (or Holland)
Bent (D)

The subs will be made up of anyone who is fit, and should (hopefully) include a resurgent Dennis Rommedahl.

Pedro45's one to watch tomorrow is actually two to watch, as it will be very interesting to see how Pouso and Diawara fit into their new club, and it will also be the fans first chance to get a good look at these new players.

The score forecast is a tough one; I'd love to predict a result of some sort for the Addicks, but as when we play any of the "big" guns, I cannot see anything other than abject defeat. I'll go for a 3-0 loss, but hope that we can do better than that and at least leave with our heads held high...

Come on you reds!

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