Plymouth: I was expecting to hear news of Argyle at dinner last night, indeed I had promised Radio Scilly a feature given that they are the most supported club on the islands. However, neither of my hosts had been near Home Park and one was a fanatical Cardiff City fan whose opening gambit was, 'Charlton aren't doing very well these days.'
I have urged them to finish today's talks (which start with the presentation of my passport to prove that I am EU citizen) so that I can be back home in time for the commentary on tonight's crucial match. They have generously paid for first class travel to entice me to Plymouth, but judging on yesterday's experience, I wouldn't like to rely on the WiFi on Virgin Cross Country.
At the beginning of the season, Wigan were judged to be likely candidates for promotion back to the top flight. Now they are in a relegation battle and look in danger of going down with fellow Lancastrians Blackpool. Is Charlton's name on the third relegation place? Even those who regard RD as an existential threat to Charlton as we know it accept that the short-term objective has to be to stay in the Championship. If Roland goes out, someone has to come in. Hence, tonight justifies the cliché of six pointer.
Johnnie Jackson, unfortunately out injured for a month, stated at the five year season ticket holders meeting in the week that last Saturday was the first time Guy Luzon had got the team playing as he wanted. (Incidentally, the timing of this meeting the night before the Woolwich meeting was not a ploy by Katrien, it had been fixed weeks beforehand).
I liked the tight and disciplined 4-4-2 formation that Luzon produced last Saturday. However, as pessimists were quick to point out, one swallow does not make a summer, even if it has a Scottish accent. We have also lost Wiggins and while Morgan Fox tries his best, he is still on a learning curve as a player. Chris Eagles can play in an attacking role on the left, but having been criticised for her lack of knowledge of immigration law, Katrien now faces the challenge of getting his surname changed to Red-Robin by this evening.
Roger Johnson is also unlikely to be available after playing through the pain of cracked ribs on Saturday when we had already had to make two substitutions because of injury. Even dedicated moaners have given grudging respect to his bravery for the cause.
Charlton won the earlier meeting this season 2-1 at The Valley in August. The home side have won six of the seven meetings between these teams, drawing the other. Wigan have won all three meetings at the DW Stadium, scoring eight goals and conceding three. Wigan won 1-0 at Reading on Tuesday - their first win in nine games in all competitions. Wigan have not won any of their last 12 home games, losing six. Their last win at the DW Stadium was 4-0 against Birmingham on 30 August
The bookies (Coral) think they know the outcome, offering 3-1 against a Charlton win, 5-2 for a draw and very short odds on a home win. If I was a gambler, I might be tempted by the odds on a Charlton win. However, all four officials are from 'oop North (two from nearby), so expect no quarter to be shown to the southern softies. I would be quite surprised to turn up at a Charlton game and find that the referee was from Margate and one of the linos was from Sevenoaks.
When I went to Wigan in our Premier League days, the typical supporter was a lippy twelve year old. They have now 'grown up', but one has been forecasting a 9-0 win on Twitter. With Henderson in goal, I don't think so. I still have many reservations about Luzon, but I am going for a 2-1 win for the Addicks.