Southend – Charlton’s favourite opponents

Of all the clubs Charlton have played more than ten times in their history, Southend have without question provided the most compliant opposition. They are in fact the only club against which the Addicks have won more than 50% of their games. The record stands at: played 40, won 22, drawn 9, lost 9. It is an extremely rare event for Charlton to be travelling to Southend in a lower league position than their hosts and the fact that we do so on Saturday is yet another indicator of how far our club has fallen.

Charlton v Southend encounters were common in the 1920s and 1930s in the Third Division (South) but, once our club had left the Shrimpers behind in 1935, there was to be a forty year gap until they would meet again in a league match. They met for three seasons at League One level in the 1970s and in 1973/4 Southend actually finished in a higher position. Hostilities were resumed at Upton Park in 1991/2 and Southend were regular visitors to the refurbished Valley during the 1990s until their relegation in 1996/7. The last season the two clubs faced each other was 2009/10 with Charlton winning both games. Many will remember Kyel Reid's injury time winner at Roots Hall.

That is where the good news ends. New Year's Eve 2016 sees Southend in sixth place in League One having been unbeaten in 11 league matches since their defeat at Rochdale on 8th October. During this run they have won six and drawn five and, in winning five of the last seven, have compiled a goal difference of 16-3. Phil Brown's team includes such well-known names as Anton Ferdinand, Republic of Ireland international Simon Cox, Marc Antoine Fortune and the sweetly left-footed Anthony Wordsworth. Nile Ranger - fresh from his fraud and money laundering charges - may also appear.

Although Charlton's win at Milton Keynes on Boxing Day was very welcome it was hardly an inspiring performance in a game between two poor teams. One brilliant pass from Crofts and an excellent finish from Lookman were the only two quality moments in the entire ninety minutes. Karl Robinson has returned from his talks in Belgium with Roland Duchatelet with the cryptic and hardly inspiring quote "The President has his theory on things, so he gave us his opinions on different situations".

Robinson travels East on Saturday with a threadbare squad. Jackson is unlikely to be fit and there are doubts about Ajose. If Lookman is withdrawn pending interest from Everton we will field a very average side and a hard-earned 0-0 draw would seem to be the best we can hope for.