Portsmouth – there’s a game to win as well

Amidst all the celebratory rhetoric surrounding this weekend's fixture it must not be overlooked that there is an important game of football to be won. It is beginning to look increasingly likely that a play-off berth is the best that Charlton will be able to achieve this season and Portsmouth (as were Peterborough) are one of the clubs also vying for a top six slot.

Between 2013 - 2017 Portsmouth were the largest fan-owned club in England after The Pompey Supporters Trust gained possession of Fratton Park. But the PST sold the club in August this year to the Tomante Company owned by former Walt Disney CEO Michael Eisner

Saturday will be the 105th clash between the two clubs - making Portsmouth our most-played opponents. They have the upper hand with 44 wins against our 33 but our home record in recent years has been quite solid.  However, on their last visit to The Valley for a league game Pompey triumphed 1-0 with a Lomano Tresor Lua Lua goal. This was a game significant in Charlton history as it featured the one and only appearance of our Uruguyan international signing Omar Pouso. But you have to go back another nine games to December 1993 to find Portsmouth's previous victory at The Valley and, as you may be aware, we also beat them in 1992.

This season Portsmouth have been impossible to predict. Since the end of August they have played an astonishing sixteen games without a draw - winning eight and losing eight - which leaves them in sixth position but having been beaten more times than Rochdale in 19th place and Gillingham in 21st. Their last two away games produced a 3-2 win at Blackpool but a 1-2 defeat at Peterborough.

Manager Kenny Jackett brings with him the most prolific striker in the division - Brett Pitman - who joined them this summer from Ipswich. With twelve goals so far this season he has one less than Kieffer Moore (Rotherham) but has played five fewer games. Although his goal scoring was average in The Championship with Bournemouth and Ipswich, his League One record of 31 goals in 41 appearances for Bournemouth and Portsmouth is phenomenal.

Charlton will continue to try to patch together a team.  Although Pearce and Lennon have had a few minutes on the pitch in the last week they are unlikely to be ready. Bauer and Kashi are now both sidelined for a month. The good news is that Billy Clark may be fit to start and that Karlan Ahearne-Grant will be fired by the confidence which comes with three goals in a week.

Twenty five years ago the team did not allow themselves to be distracted by the off-field celebrations and this team needs to do the same. Tough away games at Blackburn and Wigan are on their way and we need maximum points from our home games.