Sunday, December 27, 2009

A look ahead to.....Brentford

South-East London makes way for the west of the capital on Monday with the Addicks looking to get back on the winning trail. Goings on at Griffin Park will struggle to match the razzmatazz of the previous two Valley offerings but with a derby atmosphere and both teams expectant of success, an entertaining spectacle should ensue.

The Bees have won their last two matches, toppling MK Dons and Gillingham away from home, and know that another triumph could see them come into the play-off reckoning. Andy Scott's men have only tasted victory in four of their eleven home games, losing two and drawing five, but they have beaten Norwich - admittedly before the Canaries found top gear - and consistent Colchester, so certainly have the potential to cause us some damage.

Ex-Addick Charlie MacDonald saw red in an ill-tempered Boxing Day battle with the Gills and is prohibited from taking to the field, but we should have to deal with the highly-regarded skills of on-loan Tottenham - and former Palace - schemer John Bostock.

The Charlton line-up is a hard one to predict. Parky deployed a diamond formation in midfield against Swindon, though the idiocy of Sam Sodje and Deon Burton quickly scuppered that particular experiment. Lloyd Sam's probable return means that another rhombus-like composition is unlikely but I would advocate a middle-of-the-park five, with Sam, Semedo, Bailey, Shelvey and Wagstaff in it. Should Dailly's illness persist, however, I would slip Jose back into defence and keep faith with the solid-as-a-rock Matt Spring.

Akpo Sodje seemed a little undercooked on Saturday but should keep his place up front, whether as a lone striker, or aided by Leon McKenzie or Chris Dickson, who made effective substitute appearances versus the Robins. McKenzie showed a lot of experience, while the live-wire Dickson supplied ebullience aplenty when he entered the fray and would not give Brentord a moment's peace should he start, something Parky has hinted at. Maybe Dicko does have a Charlton future after all.

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