The international break may mean a weekend's rest to most players at our level…
but it has resulted in an unwelcome midweek fixture up and down the Football League. For Charlton, a Tuesday night trek up to ‘uddersfield is followed by an early Saturday kick-off against them lot down t'road, live on Sky.
The first match of the “oop norf” double header came at Watford on Saturday and was perceived by most as a fairly tough away fixture but the Addicks were said to have done very well to carve out a 1-1 draw, aided by the newly adopted 3-5-2 formation. If you are unfamiliar with the formation, it allows two forwards rather than one whilst managing to cover our squad’s weaknesses in central midfield. It appears to have worked wonders with four points from two games against strong opposition but with a lack of goals from open play, there are question marks over whether there is enough width to maintain a decent supply line to our forwards over the course of a long season. In the absence of out and out wingers, young wide man Callum Harriott has been noticeably nowhere near the squad since the formation switch, while defenders Chris Solly and Leon Cort were missing at the weekend through injury.
The question therefore remains who is likely to make an appearance at the John Smith’s Stadium? With Richard Wood and Lawrie Wilson doing well in their roles at the back, both would feel hard done by if they were to be replaced by their counterparts in Cort and Solly. Elsewhere, Yann Kermorgant was substituted at Vicarage Road due to injury and whether the big man can play a part on Tuesday night remains to be seen.
Should the Huddersfield game too soon for Yann, don’t be surprised to see him out of the first XI and given a chance to rest ahead of the derby game at the weekend. In that case, Joe Pigott and Marvin Sordell may battle for the starting berth with the latter more likely to start. That follows his impressive performance against Huddersfield three weeks ago in the League Cup tie, the tie where 3-5-2 was used competitively by the Addicks for the first time.
Jordan Cousins continues to knock on the gaffer’s door but must be patient as there is, as yet, no reason to drop a single member of the newly founded Jacko/Stevo/Pritch trio. Having gone through all the above, an unchanged line-up is most likely.
The Addicks, given their recent changes and results, should be confident of a good result on Tuesday but the Terries will be equally confident, having converted eleven goals at home this season already. James Vaughan will need to be marshalled closely by the SE7 centre backs but we must also be mindful not to forget the threat posed by forwards Martin Paterson and Jon Stead should either feature. Martin Robins also has two top class Championship wingers at his disposal in Sean Scannell and Adam Hammill; the latter netted the winner against the Addicks three weeks ago.
Chris Powell and co. will of course be looking for all three points but I suspect a score draw is on the cards for this fixture and it’s a point I would take, going into the game against Millwall three matches unbeaten will stand us in good stead to take another three points at the Valley.