Friday, September 22, 2006

New Villa unlikely to be Homely

Charlton travel to Villa Park tomorrow to take on Aston Villa under new manager Martin O'Neill. The Irishman has started his new role well, and Villa seem a team transfomed when compared with the rabble that David O'Leary was managing last year.

This, therefore, does not bode well for Charlton picking up any points and moving away from the base of the Premiership table.

At least Iain Dowie has a few more players to pick his team from this week!

Although rested in midweek, I expect Scott Carson to return in goal, with Thomas Myrhe returning to bench-warming duties. Myrhe needed the game, but frankly, he had so little to do on Tuesday night (apart from rolling the ball out to waiting defenders) that there wasn't much point in giving him the game.

The defence is helped by the return of Hermann Hreidersson, but where he fits in is open to debate. He could play at cente back, alongside Talal El Karkouri, or he could slot in at left back too. If he plays full back, then Luke Young switches to the right and Jon Fortune continues in the middle, but if Dowie drops Fortune then Young will probably continue at left back with Radostin Kishishev at right back.

The midfield will probably be all change from last weeks experimental diamond quartet. I expect Bryan Hughes to have receovered from his groin strain and, as a Dowie favourite, walk straight back into the team. He will play centrally alongside Amady Faye, who can move forward after his sojourn at the back. Omar Pouso is the third of our new signings to have pulled a muscle, so he's out. Matt Holland must be in with a chance if Hughes is still unfit, as is Kisheshev if not needed at the back. The wide players pick themselves, with Rommedahl and Ambrose set to continue, unless bodies available make Dowie want to play Hughes out wide.

Up front, Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink shoud return alongside Darren Bent, with Marcus Bent also retreating to the bench.

The team I expect Dowie to field is -

Scott Carson
Luke Young
Talal El Karkouri
Jonathan Fortune
Hermann Hreidersson
Amady Faye
Bryan Hughes
Dennis Rommedahl
Darren Ambrose
Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink
Darren Bent

Subs: Myrhe, Kishishev, Holland, Bent (M), Ashton.

My one to watch tomorrow is Luke Young; our skipper is playing very well at the moment, and belying the ankle problem that is obviously restricting him in certain situations. If only Lukey scored goals he would be a certainty in the England squad and team (my memory is of John Humphreys also having a scoring problem, when one of the best full backs in the country in the late eighties...).

This is a tough game for Charlton, as have been most so far this season, and I cannot see them picking up too much apart from the odd injury and booking. Pedro45's score presdiction is a 2-0 defeat, but I so wish I was wrong.

Up the Addicks!

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