Friday, August 08, 2008

Gulf In Class

The travel; the beer; the build up; the Red Red Robin; the gleaming red shirts numbered 1 – 11 (well, maybe not), the first league game of the season...oh how expectation rises. And I won't even be there...

My annual holiday prevents me making the first game of the season, and first home game, for the second season running; I am unable to go away in July due to pressure of work, so have to make do with early August vacations sadly. Once more I miss a home Championship fixture, and as with Scunthorpe last season, this is another match that could define Charlton's season from the outset.

Having had to be net sellers (as Richrd Murray put it) this summer, new signings have been few and far between. Couple that with injuries to key players during pre-season, and Zheng Zhi being involved elsewhere this weekend, Charlton have a distinctly beatable look about them. That may be no bad thing though, as the Addicks always perform best when underdogs. Last season, we would win every game fans thought, only to be brought down to earth with a thump when the going got tough after Xmas. This year, Pards needs to do better, the players need to do better, and quite frankly, the fans do too.

My own expectation league, blogged a month or so back, which is not the same as a predictive finishing place league, put Charlton 14th. Many other clubs, Saturdays opponents Swansea amongst them, harbour big ambitions about winning promotion or slipping into the play off places and chasing the Premiership pounds. So us Addicks will go into many games this year as underdogs; it's up to us to make sure we win some of them!

Being overseas, and out of WiFi range most of the time makes team selection predictions tough. I haven't had a chance to check the official site today, or any other, for fear of losing the connection... Barring any late signings, this is how I see it - Weaver would be favourite to be in goal but I don't know if he is fit again yet? I think Semedo may play right back as Moutaouakil is suspended. Youga for left back, with new signing Hudson in the middle with Fortune I guess?

In midfield, it looks like Sam, Shelvey, Holland (if fit), Racon, Wright, Basey, Wagstaff and Thomas will fight for four places.

Up front, Varney and Gray should play, with Dickson, Todorov, and Fleetwood as back up. Without cash available, these are Pards only options.

Swansea will have full support, and in their minds, nothing to lose. The Welsh like nothing more than to come to London and win, so I hope they are disappointed.

Pedro45 will go for a holiday prediction of a one score each tie in local speak, with my one-to-watch being the next big thing JonJo Shelvey. Is it just hype, or is he as good as it says on the packet? And if he is, what is his hair like?

Up the Addicks!

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