This Saturday’s FA Cup fourth round fixture against Huddersfield will be the third time this season that Charlton have been asked to make the trip to West Yorkshire.
No doubt both home and away supporters are sick of the sight of each other! Nonetheless, like the players and coaches involved, preview writers must stand up to their fate and continue to perform to the best of their ability.
Charlton have been defeated in both their visits to the John Smith’s Stadium this season, but with a prize of £95,000 and the possibility of a lucrative away day, Chris Powell may be galvanised for this 4th round match. After the dispatching of Oxford in the midweek's replay, Powell will be hoping to claim a second win in four days heading into the Addicks' second half of the season.
Expect a strong Charlton side for this Saturday’s tie, many first team regulars should feature. With Chris Solly still injured and Rhoys Wiggins serving the second game of a three match suspension, Lawrie Wilson and Cedric Evina will play at full back. Dale Stephens returned against Oxford in midweek and with Jordan Cousins looking to make his way back into the fold, don’t be surprised to see three central midfielders at the weekend with Johnnie Jackson completing the trio.
From there, the choice for Chris Powell is whether to play 3-5-2 or 4-5-1. With lack of any wide man who provides a consistent threat at Championship level, it would be no surprise to see Lawrie Wilson and Cedric Evina bombing forward more often with Morrison, Wood and Dervite patrolling behind them. If not, expect Simon Church to drop out of the starting eleven in favour of two wide players chosen from Harriott, Green, Cook or Pritchard.
In goal, it will be interesting to see who starts. Ben Alnwick kept a clean sheet in the week and didn’t seem to do a lot wrong but will he keep Yohann Thuram out of the side at the weekend. Fellow Liege loan player Astrit Ajdarevic will be looking for his first Addicks’ start but is more likely to feature from the bench as he did against Middlesbrough.
For Huddersfield, it’s hard to tell from the outside what their line-up may be, but I fully expect Mark Robins to take this one seriously. The only thing we can tell for certain is that the two striker signings Nahki Wells and Joe Lolley will not play after featuring for their previous clubs in earlier rounds of the competition.
A tough one to call but sadly a game that I can see Huddersfield edging to make it a trio of wins in all competitions: 2-1 to the home side. Whoever comes through will be ball number four in the fifth round draw. If the Terriers make it through, fully expect them to pull one of the big boys. It’s the Charlton way. CM