I have just been round to the office of a colleague who is a Derby County season ticket holder and asked for his views about tomorrow night's match: 'Easy three points' was his reply, and I think that he genuinely believes it. The Rams in his view have no problems scoring goals and he sees Darren Bent as a great acquisition (something I would very much agree with!). However, he also admits that they concede goals rather easily, as happened against the Massives on Saturday.
Given that, I hope that Guy Luzon sticks to his disciplined 4-4-2 attacking system. Some Addicks say we should be focusing on our goal difference, which has improved. However, I doubt whether we would be relegated on goal difference. If we go on the attack and lose 4-2, I wouldn't blame Luzon (or Roland), although no doubt many will.
I had this chalked up as a defeat at the beginning of the season, so I think we should just give it a go, relying on the skills of Henderson in goal and the ability of the defence to circle the wagons. Morgan Fox is a possible weak link, although the Football League Paper was quite positive about him on Sunday. We also have issues in midfield, given the absence of Buyens and Jackson.
A word about Fredéric Bulot, dismissed as a waste of space by Steve Dixon in Voice of the Valley. The Football League Paper gave him a 9 on Sunday and that is not an accolade they give very often.
I am also heartened by the signings of Roger Johnson and Chris Eagles which to me is a possible sign that Roland may be reducing his reliance on Belgians (Tony Watt, of course, came from the network, but is Scottish and already a fans' favourite). Johnson may have had a few personal issues in the past, but he puts a shift in. Chris Eagles wanted to join us in the summer, but was stopped by the Trotters. He has roots in the area and is father is said to be a Charlton supporter. He also showed on Friday that he can deliver. Come On You Reds! Let's have a Ram raid.
As far as the bookers are concerned, it's a 'no brainer': Derby 1/2, Draw 10/3, Charlton 5/1. I don't bet, but the odds on a draw or a win look quite favourable.