Friday, 24 April 2009

Weekend Championship Preview, Game 45

Last away trip of the season for diehard Addicks. As is customary, visiting numbers will be swelled by those there for the last hurrah! A number of Charlton Lifers are making the trip although I wouldn't bet on there being more than 500 Addicks there in all. Derby have been on the slide in recent weeks after the hoo-ha about getting Nigel Clough as manager has died down. The Rams aren't out of the relegation woods yet either but they have 51 points and should be safe. 

Charlton's battlers will be up against it tomorrow with Andy Todd and Jay McEveley presumably fired-up for the fight with former colleagues, although there might only be one or two that Toddy remembers.  Southampton are down but Barnsley, Forest and Plymouth all have games which are tough but not beyond them at this stage of the season. Norwich have Reading at home on Monday but will need to win come what may when they arrive in their thousands next weekend for the final act. Norwich screwed up their ticket allocation and 800 priority fans were left without tickets for the Valley game. Charlton have decided not to allocate them any more because of the difficulty in segregating fans but I expect desperate Canary fans will find their way into the home areas which should make the day all the more entertaining as 
they get thrown out. In the meantime...

Barnsley v Wolverhampton Wanderers
If there is a good time to play Wolves , it's now, having been confirmed as virtual Champions the Tykes might find their will-to-win gets them something. Barnsley will know this is their best chance for a final win as they travel to Plymouth next week and I think they might just sneak a result here.
Prediction; 2-1

Birmingham City v Preston NE
Birmingham can secure automatic promotion here and deny Preston a play-off place in the process. 
Prediction; 2-0

Blackpool v Nottingham Forest
Lancashire Police could have a busy day as Forest try to party by the seaside on the last day. I suspect it might go horribly wrong for them on the park and they will be left to beat Southampton on the banks of the Trent next week.
Prediction; 2-0

Bristol City v Sheffield Wednesday
Mid-table dirge here (oh if only). I wouldn't fancy this if I lived in Bristol and it was free.
Prediction; 0-0

Cardiff City v Ipswich Town
Roy Keane to begin the miracle with a comprehensive defeat. Fifteen of Ipswich's players are out of contract this Summer and I'm guessing Keano won't fancy half of them. Any hopes Darren Ambrose had of joining Ipswich when he leaves the Valley in June will also have evaporated yesterday.
Prediction; 3-0

Coventry City v Watford
Coventry will probably finish off with a win in front of their home fans. Watford might be content to wait until they play Derby at Vicarage Road next week.
Prediction; 2-0

Derby County v Charlton Athletic
On current performances we should have enough for a result here but on current results then maybe a draw is the most we can hope for. I shall be trying to smile at the "Krazee Barn" or something all afternoon instead.
Prediction; 1-1

Doncaster Rovers v Crystal Palace
Palace have done well to hang on to 13th place in view of their poor second-half showing to the season. Doncaster have been winning one and losing the next in recent weeks and I think they are due a win.
Prediction; 1-0

QPR v Plymouth Argyle
Argyle will be desperate for something here but know they can afford to leave it until they play Barnsley at Home Park next week. Home win for Gareth Ainsworth.
Prediction; 2-1

Sheffield United v Swansea City
United are hot on Birmingham's tails and know they must win here to maintain the pressure. A defeat will condemn Swansea to missing out on the play-offs but they have had a fine first season back in the Championship.
Prediction; 2-0 

Southampton v Burnley
Not even St Mary herself could save Southampton now. Their attempts to use a legal loophole to avoid Administration have failed and they are now playing to avoid a ten point deduction next season which will virtually ensure they won't be "doing a Leicester." Burnley will be able to play their game and focus on securing play-off games.
Prediction; 0-2

Norwich v Reading
Reading are vulnerable at the moment, particularly away from home. This really is a must win game for the Canaries because I can't see them getting anything at the Valley on Sunday week. The trouble for Norwich is that the pressure's off the Royals and they will be able to play some easy football. Norwich might have to settle for a point.
Prediction; 1-1


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