Friday, March 02, 2007

No TV at the Vicarage

Another Saturday kick off; another crucial game - this week it's Watford who the Addicks need to beat. As the official website put it, this game is the latest most important game of the season. A win is crucial, yet again, if Charlton are to put pressure on the teams above them and have any realistic chance of surviving in the Premiership this season.

Last weeks romp over West Ham is but a distant memory (albeit a very nice one!), and with Wigan also winning, the gap between safety and despair is still six points. A win away at Vicarage Road on Saturday would really make people sit up and take note though, especially those that are hovering around the thirty point mark and not playing very well (Man City; Fulham; Sheffield United).

This is the side I expect Alan Pardew to put out -

Scott Carson
Osei Sankofa
Talal El Karkouri
Jonathan Fortune
Luke Young
Alexandre Song
Matt H0lland
Darren Ambrose
Jerome Thomas
Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink
Darren Bent

Subs from Randolph, any other fit defender we have (if any), Faye, Kishishev, Zhi, Reid, Lisbie, Rommedahl.

Strange, but after all the January trasfer window signings, plus the return of injured players, and the recall of loanees, we are still terribly short on guys who can come into the team and play.

Last weeks injuries (Thatcher) and suspensions (Diawara), coupled with longer term knocks to Hreidersson and Bougherra, have given the defence a very thin look. Unless Young plays left back, the only other option is Ashton - not what you want for a must win game like this. At least Jon Furtune (recalled from loan at Stoke) is fit and ready to step into the middle.

With Marcus Bent injured last week, and likely to be out for three weeks with a hamstring strain, Jimmy Floyd needs to keep up the good play we saw during his hour on the pitch versus the Hammers. The only other option would be to play Reid for big Benty, and switch to 4-5-1, but I doubt Pards will do this early in the game. I also doubt Pardew will want to change his formation, and play narrower (with maybe Zhi starting for one of the wide men), as this would reduce the attacking influence and maybe lose out on the confidence gained for last weeks positive play.

My one-to-watch (if I could see the match...) is going to be Darren Bent. Dazza came back with a bang last week, and needs to carry on with his goalscoring heroics for the next ten matches too. I wouldn't be surprised to see JFH on the score sheet too.

Pedro45 has to be confident about this game - although I hope the team are not too confident as Charlton sides have had several come-uppances over recent years when expected to win easily. I predict a 2-0 scoreline, as long as the team are sensible, control the match throughout, and don't get worried if things are not going well after half an hour. A point will be better than none, but every opportunity for the win must be sought.

I'm going to have to bite nails for this game, as it isn't being shown on TV in Thailand (or anywhere in the world it seems...). Thanks to Bangkok Addict for letting me know my worst fears on this were correct. I'll be watching some other meaningless Premiership game on ESPN, or, more accurately, the scrolling bar across the bottom that carries score updates, hoping to see Darren Bent named as the person who hits the back of the net first in this game.

Come on you reds!

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