Tonight’s clash sees the Addicks entertain Gary Johnson’s table-toppers, Bristol City.
I could use phrases in context with their league position such as ‘unlikely’, ‘over achieving’, ‘punching above their weight’, but that would be unfair to a hard-working side has quite simply attained their position on merit.
One thing I don’t expect to see a lot of tonight is goals. If you compare both teams results, neither of us are getting in a habit of picking up clear wins. Charlton have only had 8 league wins by 2 clear goals or more, and Bristol City just 4.
This points to a tough battle tonight, and one where not only scoring first but keeping hold of the lead will be particularly vital.
The Watford game really was a definition of the ‘game of two halves’ cliché – what Pardew’s side will need to rediscover tonight is the grit and determination displayed in that first half performance, and make it count for the whole ninety minutes.
Team-wise it looks likely than Scott Sinclair will make a full debut, and it will be interesting to see how he fits in with the rest of the squad.
Greg Halford’s position at right-back has demonstrated an exception to the rule that late additions find it difficult to gel, although Andy Gray’s relatively anonymous displays so far serve as a warning to upsetting the applecart.
From a personal viewpoint, I hope I can at least catch some of the first-half tonight. My magical memory powers (and clear reliance on a mobile phone calendar I failed to update) have let me down, and I’m sans-season ticket and warm clothing for tonight. A trip back to N4 to grab the ticket, yeti-coat and car, a mad dash through the Blackwall Tunnel, and a teeth-gnashing effort to find an SE7 parking space it is then…