Saturday, 3 November 2012

Two stern tests in a row

With the visits of Middlesbrough today and Cardiff City on Tuesday, the Addicks face two tough home games in a row. The odds for today (Coral) are home win 6/4, draw 23/10, away win 7/4. In other words, another match that could go one of three ways.

Boro beat Sunderland 1-0 in the league cup at the Stadium of Light earlier in the week (Tom Morris once pointed out that the light was not that good and he had the meter readings to prove it). The Times reported, 'reflecting Mowbray's desire for neat possession, [Boro] played with the confidence of a team on a four-match winning streak ... On the break, they offered pace and verve, a combination that deservedly earned them the advantage in the first half.'

Scott McDonald came off the bench to score twice against Bolton to give Boro victory last Saturday and he also scored the winner against Sunderland. But the Australian was not even part of Boro's first team squad for the first two months of the season after a falling out with the manager. However, he is clearly now very much a threat.

One time Addick Nicky Bailey was a bench warmer against Bolton, but featured in the Sunderland game, delivering a wild shot on goal. I would have thought that he is quite likely to play today.

In goal, Jason Steele is regarded as solid. Stuart Parnaby continues to look at home in defence after being out of the game all of last season. Andre Bikey was nearly caught dawdling in possession against Bolton. Seb Hines battles away. George Friend needs careful marking as he can power up the left and deliver good crosses.

Grant Leadbitter spreads the play well, often with raking long balls, but is less impressive in front of goal. Josh McEachran is always neat and tidy at the heart of midfield and rarely concedes possession.

Chris Powell faces a dilemma with Evina out injured and may have to revert to the not very satisfactory formula of Solly at left back which then limits Wilson. I expect a 4-5-1 formation and a draw.

No comments: