This Sunday’s match against Wigan brings around the first #footballforafiver match at the Valley this season and with a recent upturn in form, there is reason to be optimistic of another result this weekend!
Since Andy Reid scored early for Forest during the Valley’s last midweek game, the Addicks have not conceded a goal and you have to go back a further game to Turf Moor for when the last goal against us from open play. A solid defence has breathed confidence into those ahead of them: Dale Stephens, Lawrie Wilson and Bradley Pritchard – players who have recently come in for criticism from some quarters – have been given a new lease of life.
That said, with only two goals scored in the same 284 minutes it has been more a case of steadying the ship and making ourselves hard to beat. It’s proving successful.
Chris Powell will be hoping the lack of goalscoring threat can be addressed this weekend as Yann Kermorgant looks set to make his return from injury. The Frenchman has become indispensable to the Addicks this season and although we’ve coped well without him in recent weeks, to have him back will inspire optimism in even the most pessimistic of fans.
Alongside Kermorgant is the returning captain, Johnnie Jackson. It may a little harder to find him a place in the team this weekend though as those in possession of the shirt have been performing well. Powell will be desperate to find his captain a place in the team but we can’t play twelve men!
It will be interesting to see how Wigan approach the game. With the experienced Grant Holt up front and Nick Powell behind, you would expect there to be a significant threat but away from home, the Latics have fired blanks since the opening game of the season.
Scott Carson – the Addicks 06/07 player of the season – joined Owen Coyle’s ranks in the summer and with such a good spell under his belt in SE7, I wuld expect he’ll get a good reception from the Covered End. Ahead of him, their defence could be said to have a soft underbelly and with enough Kerm-inspired intensity, we could have it quite a difficult afternoon for the Latics.
With Holt, Powell, McManaman as well as the creative Jordi Gomez going forward though, Wigan have more than enough threat to be competing at the top end of the table come May. It will be an interesting game to see how well our Addicks compete against the current FA Cup holders.
Feeling optimistic, I’d love to be able to predict a one or two nil win. I do though, have a feeling that Wigan have enough quality about them to take home a point. I’m going for a 1-1 prediction.