#BFC vs #CAFC preview 28.9.13

Burnley away tomorrow presents another opportunity to get back on course

6 The sword badge as we know it todayLet’s try our best to put last weekend behind us. Charlton have always had funny ways of coming back from the lowest of lows to pull three points out of a tough away trip up north. Could this Saturday’s game with Burnley at Turf Moof be another of those in a long list?

There’s not much to suggest it could be so: the fans are divided once more following a slow start to the season while the manager still seems unsure of what to do tactically when he cannot call upon Yann Kermorgant. A disappointing – to say the least – performance in front of the TV cameras last weekend appeared to lack focus, direction and quality. It could be long season for the Addicks if form isn’t picked up fast.

Burnley are so far this season’s surprise package. You might have been forgiven for expecting an early season slump following the loss of Charlie Austin to runaway leaders QPR but the Clarets sit on 17 points, leaving them 2nd in the Championship table. Danny Ings has stepped up the plate, delivering 9 goals in all competitions already this season. The Addicks will be hoping that his search for number 10 goes on a bit longer than this weekend.

While Ings has grabbed the media attention, his striker partner in Sam Vokes has gone quietly about keeping the pace. Welsh international Vokes has just one fewer league goal this season than Ings and cannot be underestimated by the backline.

Burnley possess real quality in wide areas. Kieran Trippier at right back loves to bomb forward with fantastic crossing ability and in front of him in wide areas you can expect to see set piece specialist Keith Treacy on one wing while on loan Michael Kightly is capable of terrorising Championship full backs on the other.

With Powell keen to use 3 midfielders in the centre of the pitch, the lack of striking options currently available and the two best players at the weekend being wingers, it would be logical for Powell to move to a 4-5-1 formation from the experiment of 3-5-2. With Pritchard below par and a ready-made replacement available in Jordan Cousins, the youngster was unlucky to be dropped from the starting line-up in the first place.

It’s elsewhere where key decisions must be made: which centre back will miss out? Which forward will drop out of the eleven? And are Chris Solly or Yann Kermorgant fit and ready to return? With Cameron Stewart and Callum Harriott ready to come in, you would suspect the first forward to drop out would be Joe Pigott. The 19 year old struggled in his full debut last weekend and perhaps would be best limited to substitute appearances at this stage. The centre back to drop out is very much a flip of a coin between Dorian Dervite and Richard Wood. With Michael Morrison keeping his place, I suspect a decision will be made based on how both left-footers performed in training over the last week.

Should Kermorgant or Solly be fit, both will be automatic picks. If not, Simon Church and Lawrie Wilson will keep their place in the XI, respectively.

I don’t think the Addicks can realistically expect a result away at 2nd placed Burnley this weekend. With that said, the team did a great job of stemming the tide against free scoring Watford and so do not count the Addicks out completely. Speaking with my heart, I pick 1-1 but with my head I can only see a 2-0 loss.