An air of gloom and despondency already seems to be settling over many Charlton supporters ahead of tonight's match against Crystal Palace at The Valley tonight. Palace are not invincible. When you look at their players, they are not that special, particularly now that Ben Watson has departed (whom I would have liked at The Valley in better days). Whilst I do not like Warnock's gobby manner, I have a grudging admiration for him as a manager, and no doubt he has managed to make silk out of a pig's ear.
There has been a call from the Addickted for Chris Dickson to start up front on back of his second goal for the club. Initially I thought that this was Charlton supporters going into their 'Roy of the Rovers' mode, but when you look at the alternatives, it makes a lot of sense. Here's what he has told the South London Press which shows that he is well up for the match: Dickson In an ideal world, one would partner Dickson with Todorov who is probably our most cultured player and can hold the ball up, but is never fit enough to play other than off the bench.
One is left with a choice between Gray, who is often static, lacks positioning sense and often plays with his back to the goal or Burton who has still to prove that he can do the business. What I would not do is go for the 4-4-1-1 favoured by Phil Parkinson.
Sam seems to have done just enough recently to justify his inclusion. I would also include the much criticised Ambrose who is capable of offering some support to the front two. If Racon is judged to be fully fit, I would certainly start him and partner him with Bailey. I have some doubts about how Soares would perform against Palace.
The biggest challenges are in defence where we are once again stretched with Hudson felled by an ankle injury and probably not too sorry not to face his old club anyway.
Who will then partner Fortune at centre back? Matt Holland has difficulties in filling the slot adequately, but Kelly Youga does not fill me with confidence either. If Youga did move across, it would mean the error prone Basey at left back. The slot once filled with such confidence by Chris Powell is now one of the most problematic in the team.
Murty will no doubt play at right back and Randolph should start in goal.
A derby match like this could well end 1-1, but given our defensive weaknesses, it looks 1-2 to Palace to me. I can't face a late night return from London, accompanied by Palace fans to London Bridge, so I am opting for Leamington v. Romulus where I am predicting a 2-1 win for the Brakes. For those of you who are going tonight, enjoy the game!