Friday, April 20, 2007

Cutting it Fine!

It’s make or break time at The Valley tomorrow, as Charlton’s latest do or die game brings them face-to-face with Sheffield United.

We all know the permutations from whatever result comes from the game; suffice to say that anything less than a Charlton win will not go down too well in parts of south east London.

The Blades will come to the match with some confidence, having thumped West ham 3-0 last weekend. That confidence may not have been dented by the midweek loss to Manchester United, so Charlton will need to be on top of their collective game.

Injuries will play a part, as United have top scorer Rob Hulse missing with a broken leg. Charlton are not at full strength, but do have many key players available. Hermann Hreidarsson may make a quick return from injury, although it is more likely that Ben Thatcher will retain his place at left back. Marcus Bent may be fit but may not be ready to face another of his former clubs (he does seem to have the option to face one nearly every week these days!).

The scary news is that Darren Bent has a slight knock; without him, Charlton really would have problems up front…

This is the side I expect Alan Pardew to send into battle at 3pm tomorrow –

Scott Carson
Luke Young
Talal El Karkouri
Souleymane Diawara
Ben Thatcher
Alexandre Song
Matt Holland
Zheng Zhi
Darren Ambrose
Dennis Rommedahl
Darren Bent

Subs from Randolph, Sankofa, Hreidarsson, Faye, Hughes, Lisbie, Hasselbaink, Thomas.

If Jerome Thomas has recovered from his knee problem, then he may well play instead of Rommedahl.

I really don’t’ know if it is worth issuing a rallying cry, as all Addicks fans know how this game ranks with those we have seen this season and before: A win and we have a chance; a defeat and we are pretty much doomed.

My one-to-watch tomorrow is going to be Alan Pardew. Our manager has done a great job since he had that phone call on Christmas Eve, and we all love him to bits. He will be kicking every ball as he watches from the sideline, arms crossed, and if things do start to go pear-shaped, the players will need his experience, calmness, and thoughtful thinking to be evident. He has the tactical nous to know how to win this fixture; he just needs the players to put these ideas into practice.

Pedro45’s score prediction is a 2-0 home win. We need it more than them; it has to be a homer.

Alan Wiley is a strict but fair referee (famous last words!!!), and we need to be aware that they will come at us and try to bully a result from the fixture. No silly tackles or sticking heads where you shouldn't boys!

The players and fans will hopefully do their bit, and I really do think we can win this match.

Come on you reds!

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Well said, but a lot of us are tense already. I am going for 2-1.
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