The Reds and The Rovers have everything to play for in Saturday’s showdown
(Today's preview courtesy of Becca James from Charlton Live)
Overview and recent form:
This Saturday, Charlton are to host Blackburn Rovers with just three games to go and a game in hand but both The Red’s and The Rovers have everything to play for.
Last Saturday saw a 0-0 draw against Bolton Wanderers and the point was important, but the squad looked disappointed not to have converted their chances again and lost more vital points.
Monday’s trip to Hillsborough saw The Addicks fight to get out of the relegation zone and into the 18th spot above Doncaster, Millwall and Birmingham. The Reds were 2-0 down after eight minutes but Marvin Sordell proved that he was the man to turn it around with a hat-trick which ensured Charlton a 2-3 victory and three of the most important points of the season over Sheffield Wednesday.
If Riga and the team grab the three points on Saturday, and Blackpool lose to high-flying Wigan, The Reds will be officially safe and will have secured their place in The Championship next season.
It has not been an easy season for Charlton and a lack of goals scored and a dramatic few months has nearly come to an end, and skipper Johnnie Jackson said this week, “We have got to finish the job off, three massive games and if we can do what we done for the last 70 minutes against Wednesday then we can do it.”
Rovers are currently sitting in tenth spot but just three points off the top six and with two games to go it is still a possibility for them to reach the play offs. Gary Bower’s men extended their unbeaten run to ten games on Easter Monday as they beat Birmingham 2-4 at St Andrews including a hat-trick from Rudy Gustede. Six of Blackburn’s unbeaten run have been draws, but victories against Birmingham, QPR and Ipswich this month has pushed them up the table and brought some play off hopes.
Marvin Sordell shared his joy over his hat-trick this week, he said: “I’m quite disappointed with how my season has gone so far in terms of the goals tally, but it was a relief to get a hat-trick and get some more goals to help the team,”
“Having three games left and one in hand on other teams means getting results like this lifts the team and gives us an opportunity again to move forward and progress,”
Five of The Addicks’ starting eleven against the Owls are products of Charlton's academy and Riga is proud of the youngsters, he said: “It's also a good thing for Charlton to show that it works well in this academy. The win was made in Charlton.”
Blackburn boss Gary Bower is setting his team up for a tough game at The Valley, he said: "We've extended the run to ten games unbeaten now, we now go into the Charlton game with something to play for,"
"We've just got to recover and prepare properly for the game at Charlton which is going to be very difficult. There's a lot of football to play, we've just got to keep going."
For Charlton, Rhoys Wiggins is out for the rest of the season, Laurie Wilson replaced Callum Harriott in the 80th minute on Monday due to an injury but there has been no update to his fitness for Saturday.
For Blackburn, they are hoping to get Ben Marshall back into play after he picked up an ankle injury in January, which was said to keep him out for the rest of the season, but with just two games to go they are hoping that the 18 year old can make an appearance.
In the last three meetings, Charlton have won away twice with a 0-1 Victory at the beginning of the season and a 1-2 victory away last season. The last time the two teams met at The Valley was in September 2012 that ended 1-1.
The end is near, and the games are huge. It is now down to the team to convert their chances and if the results go our way on Saturday, we could be safe.