Christmas wasn't really the season of cheer for Charlton
..although gifts and cards were somewhat of a theme with questionable defending and a couple of sendings off. Bob Peeters will be hoping the January sales bring in much-needed strengthening, although he'll undoubtedly wish to shop beyond Roland Duchatelet's spares network.
Three players have already arrived, although the fact that two of them are goalkeepers is hardly lighting the fires of excitement for Charlton fans. The other is a more interesting proposition. Tony Watt has had an unspectacular career since scoring that Champions League goal for Celtic, and Charlton supporters may draw comparisons with Darren Pitcher's progress after one goal against then Premier League champions Blackburn elevated him in his own mind way beyond his actual ability. Yet perhaps Watt has both the ability and opportunity to get things back on track with the Addicks, who will hope his arrival will take some pressure off the recently-struggling Igor Vetokele.
A poor run of results with just one win in eleven league games has left Charlton starting to look over their shoulders again when early season form promised otherwise. And Brighton will be looking to build on an impressive cup win at Brentford with victory at the Valley. There will be no reunion with striker Darren Bent as he has now joined Derby for the rest if the season, and Dale Stephens remains on the sidelines with a ruptured ankle ligament injury, but former loan player Greg Halford is likely to be in their squad. Chris O'Grady, who has struggled since rejecting the chance to join Charlton to "stay up north" with Brighton, will want to make a point, and Craig Mackail-Smith is more than capable of getting on the scoresheet. With Colunga also likely to feature, on paper there is the potential for goals in this team.
Yet Brighton's leading scorer is 6-goal defender Lewis Dunk, and with just 26 goals all season it's not hard to see why they're struggling. That said, they've scored more than Charlton and with the Addicks' defence stuttering at present they may fancy their chances of a confidence boosting third win on the bounce.
Prediction: Watt opens his account, but a draw is the best Charlton can muster.