Championship Preview

Have a quick look at the current standings in this season’s Championship. You’d be forgiven for thinking that Charlton Athletic, sitting in 15th, would have their place for next season all but secured. Many Addicks fans will be heading up the A1(M) on Tuesday night in a less than buoyant mood however. Saturday’s home defeat to Burnley left a bitter taste in the mouths of many and the pressure really is on Chris Powell to pull the squad over the finish line this season.

Our antepenultimate midweek opponent’s for the season are Peterborough United. The Posh find themselves in 22nd place with the division’s worst home record meaning the Charlton faithful will be hoping that London Road will be a springboard to positive results against Huddersfield and Millwall later in the month. Darren Ferguson’s men have enjoyed somewhat of an upturn in fortunes in recent weeks, losing only twice in their last seven matches, and will be confident of turning over an out-of-sorts Charlton on their own ground.

Whatever the result between two of the league’s most unpredictable sides, stats and history suggests goals tomorrow night. London Road has seen 60

goals this season already (compared to the Valley’s 48) and both teams have struggled to keep their sheets clean in 2013.

peterborough1-5charltonMeanwhile, almost two and a half years ago, the Addicks saw their most accomplished away performance under Phil Parkinson come at the Posh. Running out 5-1 winners on that day, we saw braces from both Johnnie Jackson and Ipswich loanee Lee Martin.

Peterborough’s three to watch will be captain and cultured left-footer Grant McCann, the man who scored Peterborough’s consolation goal back in November 2010. Secondly, the sprightly and ever-dangerous Lee Tomlin who will be looking to cut in from wide positions whilst London Road and, until recently, non-league revelation Dwight Gayle hit a superb first half hat-trick at Ewood Park last time out. Thankfully for Chris Powell’s red and white army, the mercurial talent of George Boyd moved on to Hull City on loan almost two weeks ago.

Chris+Solly+Charlton+Athletic+v+Leicester+umuFVLXypYBlCharlton Athletic will be assessing the fitness of both Chris Solly and Dale Stephens right up until kick-off in hopes of having them fit for the match and if all fitness tests are passed, you would expect them to regain their respectively places in the starting eleven. The general consensus around the Valley is that it’ll the front six tandem with which the Addicks must make the key decisions. Dorian Dervite, Brad Pritchard, Jon Obika, Danny Haynes and Ricardo Fuller will all be hoping to see their names retained on the teamsheet but sadly for one or two, it’s hard to see an unchanged line-up with Hughes, Green, Harriott and Wilson (should Solly be fit), all raring to taking their chance in the advanced positions.

Elsewhere in the Championship, look no further than Blackburn’s visit to local rivals Bolton for the pick of the matches. The hosts are piecing together a run of form at just the right time in the season and now look an outsider for the play-offs. They could strengthen their claim further with a vital three points over their nearest and dearest. In the other 8pm kick-off, Hull City will travel to Crystal Palace’s Selhurst Park in what promises to be a fascinating game of football. A promotion six pointer, neither side will be allowed to slip up in their quest for a shot at the richest league in the world.

dougie-freedman-post-cardiff-h-4x3201-464625_478x359It’s a tough midweek trip to Watford for Sheffield Wednesday who will be hoping they can spring a surprise on the team based at Vicarage Road. With one eye on proceedings at Selhurst Park, Zola’s men will be looking to capitalise on any dropped points. Sixth placed Brighton have pushed themselves into play-off contention with their recent run of form and will be hoping to continue applying the pressure on those around them when they travel to Ashton Gate. Bristol City find themselves back at the foot of the Championship despite only being two points from safety and Sean O’Driscoll will make sure his men are fired up and ready to take on the Seagulls from the south coast.

Table-toppers Cardiff will play host mid-table Derby whilst big spenders Leicester City will be hoping to put their most recent midweek result behind them when they welcome a rejuvenated Leeds United to the King Power Stadium. A Billy Davies inspired Forest will be hoping to continue their fine run of form against Mick McCarthy’s Ipswich whilst Tony Mowbray’s Middlesbrough will be hoping to get their faultering campaign back on track at Huddersfield.

deansaunderswolvesTwo of the season’s strugglers, Barnsley and Wolves will travel to Burnley and Millwall respectively and both sides will feel their games come under the “winnable” category. Of course, Sean Dyche and Kenny Jackett might have something to say about that and Millwall be hoping to follow Burnley’s example and haul themselves out of a recent poor run of results.

And finally, Birmingham will host Blackpool in a lower-to-mid table clash in which both teams will be hoping three points can help them to secure their Championship place for next season. It promises to be an exciting, yet nervous set of midweek fixtures as is usual in the final quarter of the season, let’s hope it lives up to our expectations.


CAS Trust – Have You Joined Yet?