Thursday, 29 December 2011

League One Weekend Preview, Game 23

The weekend is upon us and we reach the halfway stage of the season. Our game at Leyton Orient will be televised on Sky but that shouldn't stop over 2000+ Addicks fans crossing the water to see us push for our tenth away victory of the season. We had sold 1599 tickets for the game up until the office closed pre-Christmas but there will be pent-up demand when we start selling again tomorrow morning. Personally, I can't see why we haven't sold the lot but that will open another debate I don't want here.

A third successive win at the O's would put us on 54 points to start 2012 and a delicious looking home fixture on Monday. We could be within touching distance of the 60 point mark when we then go on to face the Sheffield clubs in successive weeks. I am getting ahead of myself, of course, because before that we have a bit of giant-killing business in front of 7000 buoyant Addicks in south-west London.

Anyhow, we must play the O's first and my head says we should expect a very close encounter and 1-1 draw is probably the smart bet. However, our away form has been scintillating and we play Leyton Orient on the back of a morale-sapping 3-0 reverse by MK Dons. The first goal could prove decisive if we get it and we might just be able to settle down and play some football in front of the Sky audience that will presumably include tens of thousands of bitter Sheffield Wednesday fans.

Having seen our lead cut to seven points by Sheffield United in the week, their match at home to Hartlepool will now have more resonance with Charlton fans but the ridiculously arrogant Sheffield Wednesday fans look like they might have more humble pie on the menu at Preston.

Huddersfield Town v Carlisle United
'Udders get the opportunity to claim second spot on Friday if they can collect all three points here. Might not be a slam dunk, but I expect them to win.
Prediction; 2-1

Tranmere Rovers v Bury
The other Friday match and Tranmere will be aiming to break their four match losing sequence. If they can't see Bury off here, they might well be staring at another elevation scrap that looked highly unlikely after ten games.
Prediction; 2-1

Colchester United v Exeter City
After their 6-1 home pasting by Stevenage, the odds on Exeter at 3-1 look like fantastic value. John Ward must be walking the tightrope and if his players don't perform again he could well fall off.
Prediction; 0-1

Preston North End v Sheffield Wednesday
This could be awkward fixture for Wednesday as they cross the Pennines. Shorn of the Orange Ego, Preston may just undergo a mini-revival under caretakers, David Unsworth and Graham Alexander. The main doubt in my mind is the presence of the Grim Reaper aka Peter Ridsdale lurking in the background.
Prediction; 2-2 

Scunthorpe United v Chesterfield
Basement scrap and I'll take the Iron to nick it.
Prediction; 2-0

Sheffield United v Hartlepool United
Neale Cooper's return to the managerial hot-seat at Hartlepool could be delicious timing for us Addicks fans. Pools won at Oldham on Monday and will be up for this one. They have been far better away from home this season and I'll go for an upset here. That might only be a draw but it would be an upset nonetheless.
Prediction; 1-1

Walsall v Rochdale
I'd rather sit cross-legged staring into the flame of a candle for an hour than suffer this one. It's a lower Fourth Division fixture this one isn't it?
Prediction; 2-0

Yeovil Town v AFC Bournemouth
The Cherries are a decent bet at 8/5 here and I gave it serious consideration as part of a treble but instead opted for Cardiff at Forest....
Prediction; 1-2

Brentford v MK Dons
The Bees get a chance here to re-establish their promotion bid and cut the eight point deficit between these sides. MK are the form side in the division but they might find Brentford too strong here to beat at home on New Years Eve.
Prediction; 1-1

Oldham Athletic v Notts County
Neither of these sides is currently firing on all cylinders and County have lost their last two. They might find this a struggle as the Latics seek to repair the damage of a home defeat by Hartlepool last time out.
Prediction; 2-1

Wycombe Wanderers v Stevenage
Stevenage are the Bookies favourites here and might look more attractive after their goal-fest at Colchester. However, it's a derby of sorts and Wycombe have a teenage scoring sensation on their hands in Fulham loanee Marcello Trotta. He could be the difference.
Prediction; 2-0

Leyton Orient v Charlton Athletic
As I have said, a 1-1 is probably the head-bet but I am going to be ruled by my heart again this week and go for a celebratory end to 2012. We have the ability to win comfortably here.
Predicton; 1-3

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