Monday, October 22, 2007

Victory with, Ah, Guile Needed!

You really don't get time to draw breath in the Championship; as soon as the weekend game is out of the way, along comes the midweek fixture and off you go again.

Home game; three points vital - this is a game that Charlton really need to win. Plymouth will not be sacrificial lambs though, and have the opportunity, with a win, to leapfrog over Charlton even higher up the Championship echelons. Argyle sit in sixth place, and if they really are to be reckoned with, they will need to echo Barnsley's adventurous approach and give Charlton something to think about.

Alan Pardew certainly has some thinking to do before the game - Saturdays loss at Wolves was fairly spineless by all accounts (including his own!), and at such a cruciual time of the season, not what Addicks fans wanted. Pards first action will be to decide who plays in front of Nicky Weaver in goal. The defence really hasn't settled yet this season, and it does seem that as soon as someone gets injured, the bench replacement struggles to fit in. As we have no left back with experience fit, I think Danny Mills will be switched to the left, with Yassin Moutaouakil brought in on the right. The only other option would be to keep Mills at right back and give one of the youngsters (Aswad Thomas or Grant Basey) a run out. It would be great to see one of the youngsters play, but in all honesty I would rather Yassin played. Bougherra and Fortune will probably keep their places in the centre of defence, though Sodje may be pushing hard for a start bearing in mind the errors that continue to haunt the backline in each game.

In midfield, Jose Semedo and Zheng Zhi are doing well, but Andy Reid looked tired on Saturday after his two international games for Ireland and a lack of training due to the ankle injury he picked up. Darren Ambrose started wide right on Saturday but did little apart from hit a couple of shots over the bar. We may therefore see Jerome Thomas begin this game.

In attack, Iwelumo and Varney are starting to feel the heat after failing to knock many in recently, and Todorov and McLeod will be hoping to get the nod, though I doubt that will happen from the start tomorrow night.

This is the team I think Pardew may pick to start with -

Nicky Weaver
Yassin Moutaouakil
Madjid Bougherra
Jonathan Fortune
Danny Mills
Jose Semedo
Zheng Zhi
Andy Reid
Jerome Thomas
Chris Iwelumo
Svetislav Todorov

Subs from Randolph, Sodje, McCarthy, A Thomas, Basey, Racon, Ambrose, McLeod, Varney.

Plymouth are an unknown factor to me; they seem to draw a lot of games (and I'm sure will be happy with a point from this fixture), and from their league position, they can't lose that many either! As far as I know, they haven't got an ex-Charlton player to score against us...

My one-to-watch in this game is Chris Iwelumo. Our big striker is due a goal and it will be very welcome if it comes at The Valley on Tuesday night. With options of who plays alongside him, but no apparent alternative to the lead strike place, it is imperative that Chris starts to score as regularly as possible; we are not expecting 25 goals this season from him, but fifteen would be a decent return. Hopefully he can get close to double figures before Xmas!

Pedro45's score prediction is a 1-0 victory. We are due a clean sheet, and we haven't yet scraped home in any game except the one in Croydon, almost two months ago. Let's home we can do so now. I also think we will give someone a good pummeling in the very near future but that may come on Saturday when we play bottom of the table QPR.

Come on you reds!

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