Friday, 21 October 2011

League One Weekend Preview, Game 14

First, apologies for my lack of posts of late. I have been incredibly busy at work but the real reason has been a lack of anything much to comment on re Charlton Athletic.  

I will not be working at all this weekend as we have friends down from Aberdeen and a fairly well planned couple of days. The girls are all booked in to see the matinee performance of the Wizard of Oz tomorrow whilst myself and Aberdeen's number one fan will be in the East Stand to watch the Table Toppers. Expectations from the north-east of Scotland are high and whilst I began tempering them in Alicante last week, my guest will still be expecting to see a footballing massacre.

Any regular readers will be aware of my scepticism of our ability to stay at the top of our league based upon the football we have been playing. Following last week's horror showing at Stevenage, tomorrow's game will be an indicator of the side's capability to "respond" and of Chris Powell's powers of motivation.  I have a concern that we are missing that player on the pitch with standout leadership qualities and Chris Powell failed to be able to get a response last season when things went wrong. 

Johnnie Jackson doesn't look like top Captain material and he might be happier unburdened to concentrate on his attacking play. I might be inclined to give Danny Hollands or Michael Morrison a go. Chris Powell needs to have ensured his charges are pumped for tomorrow and team selection could be crucial. The evident mistake of dropping Chris Solly should have been acknowledged behind close doors and I expect to see him start. If Danny Green did well enough to play his way into a starting berth, he hasn't done anywhere near enough to hold onto it and Wagstaff should again be given the nod. I would give Yann Kermorgant another start but would be prepared to bring Paul Hayes on after 60 minutes if it isn't working. 

Our bench has also looked thin for the first time and I would be inclined to add a youngster or two to shake things up. Interesting to see Nathan Eccleston join Rochdale on loan. I wouldn't have wanted him for a month but if we could have landed him for longer, he might have given us six or seven extra goals.

This coming week could be very rewarding for us. Whilst we play Carlisle at home and Wycombe away on Tuesday, our challengers all appear to face tougher match-ups.

AFC Bournemouth v Bury
Bournemouth continue to struggle but won a point at MK Dons last week in a battling 2-2 draw. That might have given them enough momentum going into this fixture to nick it.
Prediction; 2-1

Charlton Athletic v Carlisle United
Not only is Aberdeen's numbero uno casting his eagle eye over the latest Charlton side but Alan Whicker (aka Chicago Addick living part-time in Bermuda) is also burning some air miles to join us. For their sakes, as much as anything else, I am praying for a win but I can see our opponents scoring first and frustrating us.
Prediction; 2-2

Chesterfield v Hartlepool United
Both of these sides lost 3-1 at home last time out and will want a response like ourselves.
Prediction; 1-1

Exeter City v Rochdale
City sit on the bottom and last week's demoralising 4-0 home defeat to Huddersfield will weigh heavily. Looks a perfect opportunity for Nathan Eccleston to mark his arrival at Dale.
Prediction: 0-2

Huddersfield Town v Preston North End
Amazingly, Preston's September bubble appears to have been well and truly burst as they have lost three matches in succession. This looks like a fourth.
Prediction; 2-0

Leyton Orient v Sheffield United
After their impressive 4-2 win at Preston in the week, the Blades could find this a struggle as the O's go for their fourth win in-a-row.
Prediction; 2-2

MK Dons v Scunthorpe United
MK Dons may have slipped up at home to Bournemouth last weekend but they remain unbeaten in their new town. They should see off the Iron in this one.
Prediction; 2-0

Notts County v Brentford
The Bees go looking for away win number five but Notts have won all five since the Addicks claimed the points early in the season.
Prediction; 2-1

Oldham Athletic v Wycombe Wanderers
Both of these sides a tad unpredictable. Wycombe could turn another upset before slumping to a home defeat in the week?
Prediction; 0-1

Sheffield Wednesday v Colchester United
Sheffield Wednesday's 100% home record won't go on for too much longer and Colchester could just be the party-poopers. Good enough for another draw?
Prediction; 2-2

Stevenage v Yeovil Town
Has to be a home win after last week's results. Yeovil looked doomed.
Prediction; 2-0

Tranmere Rovers v Walsall
Tranmere should win comfortably here although Walsall will probably spite me again.
Prediction; 2-0


Alan Whicker said...

Big game tomorrow and we will learn a lot about our promotion credentials. I'm a bit apprehensive but that is probably a good thing as I hate being overly optimistic!

Phil said...

Totally agree about Eccleston Dave. Would love to have seen him back at the Valley. I don't think we got the best out of him. Wouldn't see him alongside BWP but wide right would offer a real threat. Alternatively, if BWP unavailable he'd be good alongside Hayes or Yann. We can but hope that later in season we might make a move for him.........assuming of ocurse that he'd want to return !