Monday, February 22, 2010

A look ahead to.....Brighton

Work commitments prevented me from visiting The Valley this weekend so presumably I missed scenes of jubilation as The Addicks rediscovered the winning feeling. I will wend my way to SE7 on Tuesday night though, but further celebration should not be taken for granted.

Despite their lowly league position and the fact they are winless in seven games, our midweek visitors will be a tough nut to crack. Gus Poyet's men were only denied victory at faltering Leeds on Saturday due to a 95th-minute equaliser and performed admirably at Norwich a week previous before being undone by a late double salvo.

The Seagulls have won five, drawn seven and lost just four of their 16 matches on the road and hold the sixth best away record in the division. That is in stark contrast to their form at the withered Withdean, where they have picked up nine points in 15 outings.

Striker Glenn Murray will have to be monitored closely, his penalty at Elland Road on Saturday taking his season's tally to 15, while ex-Wolves winger Elliott Bennett and on-loan Newcastle midfielder Kazenga LuaLua - brother of back-flip lover Lomana and cousin of ex-Addicks loanee Tresor Kandol - should supply the guile. Defender Adam Virgo was red carded at the weekend though, and will be suspended.

As long as Frazer Richardson and Rob Elliot shake off groin injuries, the Charlton team should not be altered, with Miguel Llera keeping Sam Sodje on the bench, David Mooney doing likewise to Sam's brother Akpo, and the stylish Therry Racon preferred to the more defensive-minded Jose Semedo.

I would, however, like to see Jonjo Shelvey reinstated to the bench. The 17-year-old is mercurial but has the necessary pizazz to enter the fray and swing a game in our favour - something that we may require against the stubborn Seagulls.

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