Reds v Blues: A win is essential

An owner in conflict with supporters?  Well, it all seems to have quietened down a bit at Cardiff this season even though many fans are unhappy with manager Russell Slade. They really don't know how lucky they are, do they?

The last two home fixtures against Cardiff have offered plenty of drama.  Last season saw Callum Harriott sent off in the 33rd minute with Charlton already a goal down, only for Johann Berg Gudmundsson to come in from the right and rifle an 88th minute equaliser into the top of Marshall's net.  However, this was nothing compared to the game in November 2012 when Johnnie Jackson dragged the team back from 0-2 to 5-2, which was the score as the game entered added time. Two Cardiff goals brought the score to 5-4 before the final whistle put us out of our anxiety. This time round a scrappy 1-0 would go down very well.

Cardiff look to be one of those clubs not quite good enough to make the play-offs. They are currently in ninth place with a five point gap to Wednesday in sixth, although they have won their last two away games (3-2 at Huddersfield and 3-1 at Wolves). They are currently subject to a transfer embargo due to breaching  FFP but that doesn't stop them loaning players. For financial reasons they have unloaded Kenwyne Jones and Joe Mason during January and it is also likely that Craig Noone will be unavailable though injury. However, they still boast considerable fire power in the shape of Peter Whittingham and Anthony Pilkington in midfield and Federico Macheda (who likes to score against us) up front.  They also have Tom Lawrence on loan from Leicester and Sammy Ameobi from Newcastle, although the latter has only scored one in 22 appearances for Cardiff so far.  While we brace ourselves for the return of Yann Kermorgant for Reading in a fortnight at least we don't have to worry about Tony Watt on Saturday.

Charlton are likely to be strengthened by the return of Igor Vetokele whose replacement last week (Ademola Lookman) looked a bit lightweight in the heavy wind. Otherwise, despite the poor performance against Bristol City, there are unlikely to be many changes. It will have been a real challenge for Jose Riga to raise the team's spirits during the week as they have contemplated this game from twenty fourth place but a win is essential if we are to go to Fulham the following Saturday with any hope of catching them.

Let's hope the players can harness some of the anger of the supporters rather than picking up on the apathy.