Charlton vs Burnley Preview

CAS Trust LogoIt's been a puzzling thing for Chris Powell and Charlton fans this season. Wins at home have been something of a rarity as The Addicks struggle to emulate at The Valley, what they do away from home.

After 3 successive wins for The Addicks at the start of 2013 - which included impressive away wins against Watford and Blackburn - Charlton were looking good for a play-off push.

That form was sadly not continued in their next 6 games. Just 4 points were taken from a possible 18. The play-offs now look like a distant dream, but stranger things have happened in The Championship.

Saturday's opponents Burnley are also in a bad run of form. The Clarets have failed to score in any of their last 3 matches, which comes as a surprise when you look to their frontman Charlie Austin. Austin hit 20 goals just before the halfway point of the season, but the former Swindon man - who has a habit of scoring against The Addicks - has struggled to find the net of late and will be looking to end his own barren spell this weekend.

You would have to go back to mid-January for Burnley's last victory. A 2-0 win away to Millwall was the Lancashire club's last success. Sean Dyche's men will be looking to take advantage of Charlton's stuttering home form in an attempt to get their own play-off push back on track.

Charlton will want to quickly forget a miserable afternoon last Saturday that saw them lose 2-0. Yann Kermorgant's straight red card for his rash challenge on Nottingham Forest - and former Charlton loanee - defender Greg Halford shortly before the interval being one of the defining moments of the match.

Burnley didn't fare much better in midweek when they played their game in hand against the struggling Huddersfield Town. James Vaughan's single goal was enough for The Terriers to claim victory.

In recent times, Burnley have edged Charlton, although it was The Addicks who left Turf Moor last November with all 3 points. Kieran Trippier handled on the goal line early on when Charlton were certain to score and rightly got given his marching orders by the referee. Johnnie Jackson stepped up but had his penalty saved by Lee Grant. That miss didn't matter, however, as Danny Haynes headed in from Rob Hulse's knock-down to give The Addicks a hard-fought 1-0 win.

The last time these sides met at The Valley, honours were even. Steven Thompson opened the scoring in the first half, but a goal from substitute Svetoslav Todorov rescued a point late on back in October 2008.

Burnley's last win at The Valley came almost a year before that game. Two goals from Andy Gray - who joined The Addicks barely two months later - scored twice in a 3-1 win for The Clarets.

If Charlton are to claim all 3 points this weekend, they'll have to get their first win over Burnley in the league at The Valley since October 1982.

Chris Powell will be forced into at least one change this Saturday afternoon. Yann Kermorgant misses the next 3 games due to suspension, so Ricardo Fuller, Danny Haynes and on-loan Jon Obika will all be eagerly anticipating a place in the starting XI.

Sean Dyche will be sweating on the fitness of central pair Dean Marney and Chris McCann. The duo picked up calf and hamstring injuries respectively in midweek and are doubtful for The Clarets' trip.