Monday, 3 January 2011

As the holidays draw to a close for most of us, we get the opportunity to see our team at the Valley for the first time since the woeful Walsall performance. We have battled against ten men in two away matches since against the leaders and a play-off contender and scraped draws from both. We should be expecting a reasonable crowd and atmosphere today but I suspect the presence of the Sky cameras will mean we get neither unless our side can light a fire under the fans by turning it on.

This should be a routine home win and our first double of the season. We waltzed the away game and Swindon's erratic form has continued. However, "this is Charlton and this is the Valley" so I am not expecting too much. Frankly, I think the odds of a home win, draw or away win are pretty even.

It's a day when three points could well give us a gain on our pack as most of them are away from home....

Huddersfield Town v Sheffield Wednesday 
Six-pointer and tight south Yorkshire derby here. Huddersfield have endured a miserable Christmas so far without a win and this will be their chance to right things, although Wednesday will come with full backing and make it difficult.
Prediction; 1-0

AFC Bournemouth v Brentford
All-of-a-sudden this too has become a six pointer. Brentford have won four-in-a-row but this will be a real test of their credentials. They have won an impressive five matches away from home and might go very close here.
Prediction; 1-1

Dagenham & Redbridge v Southampton
The Southampton express finally looks to be at full steam. I expect them to win the league and a win here may close the gap in neighbours Hove.
Prediction; 0-2

Exeter City v Brighton & Hove Albion
The Grecians are down in 13th but they are always hard to beat in Devon. Eleven-man Brighton are playing some very neat and attractive football but it might not be good enough for all the points today.
Prediction; 1-1

Leyton Orient v Colchester United
The O's are smarting from their 5-0 walloping at the Withdean and they are hovering two points above the trap-door. Not a time to be playing a competitive Colchester side.
Prediction; 1-2

Notts County v Hartlepool United
It's win or lose for County at home this season and they face a reinvigorated Hartlepool side who are more dangerous away from home. Jeff Stelling to be yelling!
Prediction; 0-2

Oldham Athletic v Rochdale
A rare local derby for Rochdale against their Oldham foes. Should be the Latics biggest gate of the season. Oldham are unbeaten at home and I'll back them to win here.
Prediction; 2-0

Peterborough United v Walsall
Surely a home banker. The side who we made look like Brazil at the Valley three weeks ago were spanked at home by Notts County on Saturday and they can look forward to losing more heavily today.
Prediction; 4-0

Tranmere Rovers v Carlisle United 
A draw id probably the form result here. Tranmere usually rely on their home form but have managed only three wins at Prenton Park this season. Carlisle might just seize their chance here to re-ignite a challenge.
Prediction; 1-2

Yeovil Town v MK Dons
Yeovil look like they are returning to League Two this season and may be playing under pressure. This is a game I'd normally favour them to win but MK Dons won again at home on Saturday and will again be eyeing the play-off places.
Prediction; 0-1

Charlton Athletic v Swindon Town
All I want today is a decent Charlton performance. Honestly. I am fed-up trudging home and writing about another poor home showing or a game of two halves, irrespective of the result. No-one outside the bottom four has scored fewer goals at home than us and we have scored more away than anyone else. If that's down to our ability to counter-attack, them we should be using tactics at home that enable that. Instead, we seem devoid of any game plan at the Valley and too often we persevere with obvious tactics which are clearly not working. Nothing's coming through the middle either, especially at home. One or two players deserve dropping in my view, although Parky is overly loyal.

I fear another nothing performance and a nothing result to go with it. Bah humbug!
Prediction; 1-1

Bristol Rovers v Plymouth Argyle
Tomorrow evening's game and an opportunity for Rovers to pull out of the relegation drop zone and haul Plymouth closer to it. Argyle are in a real mess and Peter Risdale doesn't look like the man to get them out of it. They could suffer here.
Prediction; 2-0

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