Charlton Athletic (H) Tues 6th Nov, 7.45pm


#1

"Down Greenwich reach
Past the Isle of Dogs"

(Eliot)

The early season fireworks which saw us rocket into the play-off zone with a bang seem to have given way to the damp squibs found at the bottom of the box as we find ourselves in 10th place, with the only negative goal difference in the top half of the table. This match against “The Addicks” represents our game in hand from the international weekend last month, and a win would at least restore our place among the play-off challengers while at the same time leapfrogging over our opponents. Bearing in mind the history between the two clubs (I won’t drag out the sordid details of the 1961/62 final game of the season fiasco) any fixture which puts us above them is always welcome!

As things stand, Charlton’s League One performance is identical to ours in terms of results, but naturally their goal difference of +4 is significantly better than our -3. Their form has been very much up and down - after all, how do you analyse the performance of a team that won 2-0 against Barnsley, yet shipped 5 goals in losing 5-3 at Scunthorpe? There is one ex-Saddler to be seen in the Addicks’ ranks, but only on a theoretical basis - Krystian Bielik has recovered from whatever malady beset him whilst supposedly on loan to us from Arsenal, and he is now in the same position with Charlton, and started in their most recent game. Current form:-

Oct 2 Scunthorpe United (A) Lost 5-3
Oct 6 Coventry City (H) Lost 1-2
Oct 20 Barnsley (H) Won 2-0
Oct 23 Oxford United (H) Drew 1-1
Oct 27 Rochdale (A) Lost 1-0
Nov 3 Doncaster Rovers (H) Won 2-0

Dean Keates has the problem of deciding which tactical system will (a) suit the players selected, and (b) won’t have already been sussed out by opposition scouts. Our signing of Martin as a defender/player-coach has seen us concede 10 goals in our most recent 4 games, which wouldn’t be that much of a problem if we were scoring at the other end, but the painful fact is that we’re not. There are 6 teams in the bottom half of the League One table who have scored more goals than ourselves …

Prediction? Unlikely as it seems, a 0-0 result would be something of an achievement based on our current form, but the necessary optimism in a Saddlers’ supporter leads me to go for a 1-0 home win, with Andy Cook maintaining his recent habit of finding the net … as long as he gets the appropriate service!!

UTS


#2

Win this and we are level on points with the play offs. Funny old world considering the doom and gloom flying around since Saturday.

I must confess that I don’t see us winning though. If we can keep it 1-1 with ten minutes to go, who knows? That’s the best I can find to hope for though.


#3

A little optimistic for me WELSH having witnessed Saturday. A 2-2 draw is my prediction. Mind you its a good job I am not in that prediction league on here. I would be relegated already!!!


#4

Having conceded 10 goals in the past 4 games, the clean sheet is optimistic!


#5

Bielik will surely score in this…he has been a regular for them this season.

I do think it will be a draw (I also thought Saturday would be!) but not sure Charlton’s defence and midfield are as strong as Burton’s. Again they have good strikers for this level like Lyle Taylor, Jamie Ward, Aharne-Grant. If Fitzwater is available again, he starts for me.


#6

Who drops out?


#7

Guthrie. Criticised him lots last season but he’s been good this year in fairness. I just feel Fitzwater is better defender that’s all. Chance his combination with Martin will be stronger.

Other option is moving Martin to RB of course or even going to back 3 but think that’s a little radical given all the debates about 4-4-2/4-3-3 in last 48 hours.


#8

I think Guthrie has been head and shoulders our best defender this season to be honest. I too criticised him last season but it would be very harsh to drop him now.

Martin looks slightly immobile at centre half, which is hopefully a fitness issue, but he’ll get torn apart by a decent winger at RB.

I’m not against him coming back in a back three though. I really think that could work. It needs serious preparation that we probably haven’t done but if I were Keates Id be seriously considering doing that preparation because it fits the players we have the best, in my opinion.


#9

Agree with you there especially about Guthrie. Also don’t forget Martin had to constantly cover the RB on Saturday who was overwhelmed by the Burton players as he got no support from the players in front of him!!! I am not a great fan of 4-3-3 but if we going to play it with the middle 3 playing so narrow it means the wide men from the front 3 have to cover when we are on the defensive. In effect when we are out of possession it becomes 4-5-1.


#10

Not confident at all tbh, they will have had a scout at our game against Burton, will come out all guns blazing, and after 20 mins we will be 2-0 down, unless deano has learnt something from saturday? this game for me will show how far he and the team have come.


#11

Think we will bounce back tomorrow never know what to expect from the team last 5 or 6 games or so. but I do think they will want to put it right so believe it or not I am going for a 3-1 win with cook getting a hat trick :blush::blush::blush::blush: optimistic I know but sick of all the negativity on this site anybody would think we have the best budget in the league. We have not and we are 10th so come on let’s be positive :blush::blush::blush: 3 points tomorrow and a good performance and we will all be positive


#12

Despite your overwhelming and significant optimism, I fear that if a pole were to be held this time round there would be about as many in the Walsall win column as there were in the Burton win column on Saturday!
Lets hope for the same type of turnround, but as Chunkster points out, we have been sussed as powder puff in defence and Charlton will go for the kill from the off.


#13

4-4 thriller.


#14

See you’re still on a high then :rofl:


#15

Crikey! That was some good stuff you smoked!
Nothing like that where I was, unfortunately, so I think we’ll struggle tonight.
A little more use of substitutes and a willingness to change a system that might not be working on the night might be useful for the manager to have in his pocket dare I say?


#16

Can confirm I am not high :joy: Thankfully was when i saw the Burton result though.

I’m just throwing a daft result out there because I’m utter ■■■■■ with predictions :joy:


#17

Just read that they are missing Lyle Taylor for this game. A huge bonus.

Grant is still dangerous though.


#18

Difficult to know what to do after Saturday’s inept performance.Do you change formation,change personnel or pick the same side believing we cannot be that bad again.On Saturday neither Ferrier or Morris put a tackle in and gave the full backs no help even though we were under the cosh.
Watched Huddersfield win ugly last night because every player never stopped tackling and closing down.Fulham were never given time to breathe and we need to get closer to that attitude.I would give Kinsella a chance to start tonight maybe in place of Connor Ronan.Tough on him but we cannot afford to be too expansive because we are just picked apart.Put Ferrier back alongside The Chef and start with Ishmael wide instead of Morris.
Some players need to learn that they need to be at it for every minute of every game with the sort of Physical commitment which in some cases was sadly missing on Saturday.


#19

We mustn’t lose this, but we must turn up or we will lose it. Two banks of four needed tonight , whoever plays try to be positive and we could win. More likely is a draw 1-1. Ferrier to score


#20

Very attacking line up tonight. Gordon and Ginnelly back in, as well as Devlin. Ferrier and Ginnelly wide, or Gordon and Ginnelly?

Think it could swing either way with that sort of line up.