It is almost exactly two years to the day since Charlton and Coventry supporters staged a joint protest against their respective owners and a number of small plastic pigs found their way on to The Valley pitch. The protest was very successful in terms of gaining media attention but both owners remain in place and, in Coventry's case, SISU show no signs of wanting to relinquish control. In fact, according to the Sky Blues Trust, last year's promotion back to League One might even encourage SISU to hang on in there in the hope of eventually being able to cash in on the bonanza of The Premier League. In the meantime the club are only seven months away from homelessness as their deal to use The Ricoh Arena expires at the end of this season.
City - under manager Mark Robins - have made a moderate start to this season after gaining promotion by beating Exeter in the play-off final in May. They arrive at The Valley in 14th place with twelve points having drawn with Gillingham, AFC Wimbledon and Sunderland and beaten Oxford, Plymouth and Barnsley. Their problem has been in scoring goals - only eight in eleven games which is the worst return in the division
Our recent record against them is good, with only one defeat in the last nine games going back to the amazing 3-2 FA Cup win at Highfield Road in 2000. Also memorable was the 4-1 victory in May 2008 which saw Coventry relegated from The Championship while Charlton fans celebrated Chris Powell's 86th minute goal (past Kasper Schmeichel) in his final appearance for the club. Incredibly, the attendance that afternoon was 26,130.
In the last encounter at The Valley goals from Holmes, Lookman and Magennis saw off the visitors once the pigs had been cleared from the pitch. Featuring for Coventry that day at full back was West Ham loanee Lewis Page - at least until he was injured and subbed in the 24th minute. His bad luck with injuries seems to go on and on and it appears that he may now be unavailable for quite a few weeks after sustaining a hip injury on Tuesday night.
After the 5-3 defeat at Scunthorpe Lee Bowyer was scathing about the teams' defending while recognising that they looked very good going forward. He was exasperated that they could score five goals in two way games and only (just) come home with one point. An analysis of the team's results after a quarter of the season shows that there is still a lot of room for improvement. The seven games against teams in the bottom half of the table have brought five wins, one defeat and a draw but the other four games have been against top half teams and have produced two draws and two defeats. This suggests that our position just outside the play-offs might be flattering.
The Addicks need to win this game and hope that they can use the international break to get some key players back to fitness in readiness for what will be a tough game against Barnsley on October 20th.