Friday, October 27, 2006

Park Life

Charlton visit Newcastle tomorrow, for the late afternoon kick off, on the back of two clean sheets. Hopefully the Addicks can keep a third, and come away from St James' Park with at least a point.

After the midweek cup win, Iain Dowie has some momentum going at last and, if the reality is that Charlton have at last started the season, he must be confident that the return of many injured players is statrting to reap dividends.

Newcastle are not doing very well in the league themselves, and this is the first side Charlton have played this season who can be classed as not in any sort of form. A midweek cup whipping of Portsmouth aside, on a soggy Tyneside pitch, their Premiership form of late is fairly poor. They will be looking for a result then, and so will their fans, who seem to think it their right to be in the top four challenging for a Champions League spot.

Talking of spots, Charlton will come up against former Addick Scottie Parker once more. Scott is now captain of the Magpies, and back near his combative best; hopefully, Amady Faye, who is also playing against his old club, will be able to put the wee-man in his place and nullify any threat.

The midweek cup win at The Valley has given Dowie a few selections headaches he claims; I don't really think it has, unless a few of the niggles that kept certain players out on Wednesday are more serious than first thought. Scott Carson will return in goal, with Tommy Myrhe slipping to the bench. Young, Hreidersson, and El Karkouri with remain in defence, and the excellent Souleymane Diawara will hopefully come back into the team in place of Jon Fortune. Up front, we hope Darren Bent is fit again, and if he is, he will play without doubt. The midfield is the only area where Dowie will have to make a firm decision on which players to chose, and that really depends on what formation he wants to go with - 4-4-2, or 4-5-1.

If he decides to stick with last Saturdays dabbling with just one up front, Dennis Rommedahl will start wide right, and Jerome Thomas wide left. His hand may be forced into 4-4-2 though, if Thomas is not fit after being carried away on Wednesday night. The other wide left options are Darren Ambrose, another ex-Geordie player, who failed to impress on Wednesday after coming on as a sub, or youngsters Lloyd Sam or Alaistair John. However, I don't think Dowie will play this way if Thomas is not fit to start.

The more likely option, in my opinion, is that Dowie will switch back to 4-4-2, and that will give Marcus Bent the chance to start a league game for the first time this season. This means that with Rommedahl on the right of midfield, Faye in the middle holding role, and with Matt Holland retaining his place (he has had two reasonable games on the bounce it has to be noted...), the sole remaining slot has to go to Andy Reid (if fit) or Bryan Hughes (rather than the more expansive and lightweight Ambrose).

This is the team I expect to see play on TV tomorrow -

Scott Carson
Luke Young
Talal El Karkouri
Souleymane Diawara
Hermann Hreidersson
Amady Faye
Matt Holland
Andy Reid
Dennis Rommedahl
Marcus Bent
Darren Bent

Subs from Myrhe, Fortune, Sankofa, Kishishev, Hughes, Ambrose, Pouso, Hasselbaink.

By the way, where is Omar Pouso now? An hour in the first team; four reserve games, and pushing at the first team door, but not even a sub slot midweek?

My one-to-watch tomorrow evening is Souleymane Diawara. Our Senegal lion is getting better and better, and it is in these major games that we need him to show the country that we have at last got a very good defender capable of handling Premiership forwards. He is getting fitter, and looking more exciting, with every match for the Addicks.

Pedro45's score prediction is a toughed-out 1-1 draw; I think we may start well and score early, but maybe concede a late equaliser as legs start to get weary. That would be three games unbeaten, and Dowie would be happy with that.

For information, Pedro45's score prediction was correct on Wednesday, as was his team selection, a rare double hit which had odds of about 1000-1! If I get the team and score right again, please note that my lottery numbers this week are 5, 7, 13, 23, 31, 43, 49 - please do not use these numbers as I want the whole jackpot myself!

Come on you reds!

Comments: Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

Enter your email address below to subscribe to Charlton Athletic Online!

powered by Bloglet
Sports Business Directory - BTS Local
Custom Search