Blackburn vs Charlton Preview – #BRFC #CAFC ACV’d Ewood beckons

Charlton visit their first ACV status ground on Saturday. Not since England’s 0-0 in Rome back in 1997 has a draw been so welcome, and wouldn’t you know it two came along at once.

Normally a haul of two points from six would offer little reason for celebration; however after three straight losses (including the now traditional sacrificing of three points to Millwall) going two without losing represented a moderate steadying of the ship. Whilst no Addick would suggest that we are out of the woods yet, and a cursory look at the league table would back up that feeling, the very respectable draws against Forest and Blackpool at least give us a foundation to build from and that they were achieved without our captain, talisman and best player gives further grounds for optimism.

Last season Charlton picked up four points from their games against Blackburn including an excellent 2-1 victory at Ewood, and sitting one place above the relegation zone a repeat would be most welcome by all of the SE7 faithful

Blackburn have become synonymous with instability over the last few years. Indian chicken moguls the Venkys have been unable to match their success in poultry development with success in English football after discovering that they are, in fact, very different industries since purchasing Blackburn back in late 2010. The club, one of only four teams to win the Premier League, were relegated from the top flight under the much maligned Steve Keane in 2011/12 and struggled last season.

Despite the poor performance last term there is one shining light for Rovers and it would be impossible to discuss Blackburn without mentioning Jordan Rhodes. Rhodes, along with Bradley Wright-Phillips, Gary Madine and Ched Evans, was one of the quartet of strikers* who lit up League One in the season that saw Addicks crowned champions. Rhodes was playing for Huddersfield then and his goal scoring prowess tempted Blackburn to part with a quite frankly ludicrous £8m fee in the hope that his goals would power them back to the big time at the first attempt. Rhodes delivered on his end of the bargain, scoring 29 goals in all competitions but Blackburn finished a lowly 17th, changing manager five times in the process. Gary Bowyer’s permanent appointment has brought stability and a summer transfer policy which looked not dissimilar to Chris Powell’s approach to his first summer window has seen lots of the “dead wood” cleared and mainly free transfers who are hungry and want to prove themselves  take their place. This coupled with Rhodes continuing deadly form (9 goals in 10 games so far) has seen Rovers 9th after 11 games.

For Charlton the fact that the vast majority of the team face a more uncertain employment future than the majority of the British population (and for overseas readers that is an incredibly precarious place to be) lingers and the good points against Forest and Blackpool will count for nothing if they can’t be followed up. The Addicks have found their best form away from home over the last couple of seasons and will look to use the experience garnered from hard fought wins on the road to weather what is likely to be a tough Lancashire storm on Saturday. There is a good chance that Jackson and Kermorgant could be fit again and you’d have to think that at least the latter would be in line for a place in the starting 11 if fully fit after sporadic performances from Sordell and hardworking but non-prolific efforts from Simon Church. One of the brightest spots of Charlton’s season so far has been the emergence of Jordan Cousins who should have the opportunity to continue to prove why he is so highly rated on Saturday.

Trying to predict a result here is incredibly difficult. The Forest and Blackpool performances were encouraging if not overwhelming however the fact that they are a brief pinprick of light in the immensity of darkness that has been our season so far cannot be ignored. A return to the 11 for Jackson and/or Kermorgant would offer a real psychological boost for the side and for that reason I’m going to go for a 1-1 draw to complete the hat-trick of stalemates for the Addicks before we’re back on track next weekend in our football for a fiver (+ a mandatory £1) clash with Wigan – and the Trust are still looking for volunteers to help spread the word about the fantastic offer for that game so please contact us if you would like to offer your services.

* Incidentally, other than BWP, Rhodes is the only member of that quartet not currently incarcerated.



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