Today's Voice of the Valley looks likely to obtain some interesting information about the takeover. Even in the unlikely event of the game being called off, the Rickster himself will be selling copies from his pitch opposite the club shop.
Charlton fans are at it again, searching for a gloomy narrative. They've been posting pictures of overnight rain in Bexleyheath, asserting that today's game between Les Rouges and Birmingham City can't go ahead. A few observations:
- This is SE7, not the Somerset levels.
- I sense a real determination in the club to get this game on.
- The cover system blows warm air across the pitch.
- The covers won't be removed until the last possible moment, and they certainly are well anchored and won't blow away.
- The only risk is a last minute deluge.
I shall be travelling down from the Midlands and if the match isn't called off, I won't know until I get there. However, I am looking forward to seeing our two new strikers in action, as they are the future of the club now, as well as the chance to assess AA in person. The keeper is clearly a bit of a concern. However, getting rid of the much travelled Alnwick, who seems the latest example of the claim that all keepers are flakey, looks like a stroke of genius rather than a mistake. Hopefully, the defenders will start to get used to the shouts of 'M****' and 'Sacré bleu' coming from the goalmouth.
Today's opponents Birmingham City have won only once in 2014 and that was against Bristol Rovers in the FA Cup, although they managed a spirited 3-3 draw at home to Derby last weekend. Our record against the Blues is reasonably good. Charlton won 1-0 at St Andrew's when the teams met in November. Charlton are unbeaten in the last four meetings, though they have won only one. Birmingham's last win was 3-2 at St Andrew's in November 2008. Charlton are unbeaten in the last five meetings at The Valley, winning two. Birmingham's last win there was 2-0 in the Premier League in April 2003. In terms of a form table based on the last eight games, the Blues are 18th and the Addicks 20th.
Rhoys Wiggins is unlikely to feature given his hamstring problem, but Lawrie Wilson is back from suspension and will presumably replace Nego. My main worry is about the mood of the febrile mood of the fans given a reluctance to wake up and smell the coffee over the takeover. One suspects that the first misplaced pass or error by the keeper will be pounced upon when what they really need to do is to get behind the team. However, an early Charlton goal would settle the nerves. I think that we should be able to get a point out of this game and my guess would be 2-2. Slightly optimistic odds are: Charlton 11/8, Draw 11/5, Birmingham 2/1.