Watford vs #CAFC Preview

Watford is a chance for Powell to build on recent success

While Chris Powell will have been mightily relieved to head into the international break with a win under his belt, he would have surely been desperate to face a tricky Watford side sooner, with the momentum of the win in his side’s sails.

That win, puts Charlton just four points behind Saturday’s opponents who fared rather differently last time out – losing 1 – 0 to table toppers Blackpool in a game they were somewhat unlucky to lose; Gianfranco Zola even going as far to say that “we had complete domination.”

What did the break did offer Powell, however, was the chance to bring in some new personnel to his ranks. Hull winger Cameron Stewart has arrived on a loan deal until January while former Tottenham ‘keeper Ben Alnwick has signed on a one year deal. Perhaps even more encouraging, however, is the news that Joe Piggott and Chris Solly in particular have signed new contracts with the club. Fans’ favourite Solly committing his future to the club for a further four years.

Cameron StewartThe real question for Powell entails whether or not he should stick to the 3-5-2 formation that served his side so well against Leicester. It would mean new boy Stewart and Callum Harriott would likely miss out, leaving the only selection issues at wing-back and in centre-midfield.

Chris Solly will of course be the preferred choice for the right Jordan Cousinswing-back spot but Powell may be made to sweat on his fitness after a spell sidelines, while Lawrie Wilson looked tailor made for the role against Leicester. After a Man-Of-The-Match performance, Bradley Pritchard will undoubtedly command a starting berth on Saturday, but the two remaining slots will be up for grabs. Johnnie Jackson and Dale Stephens started against the Foxes, but both were substituted as the former continues to struggle for match fitness while the latter has struggled for consistency. Veteran Mark Gower and youngster Jordan Cousins will be the other two in contention – Cousins in particular standing out in his breakthrough appearances for the side this season. Yann Kermorgant ans Simon Church are likely to remain the first choice pairing up front.

Speaking of 3-5-2, it is also the formation favoured by Gianfranco Zola at Watford. Igechi Anya, favoured in the left wing-back role, will be give even Chris Solly plenty to think about. He will be full of confidence after making his full international debut in midweek, getting on the score sheet as Scotland won away in Macedonia.

Fernando ForestieriTroy Deeney, a name many will be familiar with after his stoppage time winner to end all stoppage time winners in last year’s play-off final, will of course be a danger man for the back three to contend with but he is not their only source of goals. Fernando Forestieri, dubbed the “Messi of the Championship” by Hornets fans last season, will always be a handful despite his diminutive size. Charlton fans will be praying for a repeat of his theatrics that saw him sent off for dissent and diving a year ago at The Valley. Also one to watch will be Lewis McGugan who signed on a free, in what looks to be one of the best pieces of business in the Championship this summer. He scored against the Addicks last year, and his thunderous free-kicks and long-shots will keep Ben Hamer on guard throughout.


A repeat of last season’s fantastic 4-3 triumph is probably unlikely, but as the game against Leicester demonstrated, this Charlton side have a tendency to raise their game considerably against tougher opposition – especially away from home. Don’t rule anything out.



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