Monday 31 December 2012

Hornets can sting

The general view was that we were unfortunate not to get anything out of our home game with Watford in October when we went down 1-2 to the 10-man opposition: Watford. However, the chances of getting anything more than a draw at Vicarage Road tomorrow are not that promising. Watford are currently 3rd in the home table and Charlton are currently bottom. The Hornets have been defeated just once in 11 games.

I saw the quite long excerpt on The Football League Show of Watford's 3-1 victory at the Amex over Brighton and Hove Albion (it is certainly a longer excerpt than Charlton customarily get). The Hornets looked full of confidence and particularly strong in the counter attack.

Czech international Matej Vydra, on loan from Udinese, is clearly a danger man. At Brighton he scored two goals and provided an assist, as well as forcing a good save from the Albion keeper. Troy Deeny's goal was also excellent and he provided the assist for Vydra's second. In midfield Chalobah was calm and composed on the ball, delivering well-weighted passes throughout: just what we haven't got at Charlton. Fitz Hall did everything that was asked of him in defence, but Alumnia in goal made a silly mistake to give away the penalty. Although clearly a more than competent keeper, he can be pressured to make errors.

Charlton will be without Michael Morrison in defence. As Hungry Ted has noted in his blog, the consensus among the Addickted is that Chris Powell should have taken him off at half time. Even just listening to the commentary, it was clear to me that the rotund referee had him in his sights. It has been observed that he has been playing below his usual standard in recent games and this has led him to make errors that can attract cards.

Bradley Wright-Phillips impressed on Saturday and arguably did enough to earn a starting place. Bradley Pritchard was his usual vigorous self. After a hesitant start, Evina did well, certainly better than Seaborne who was angling for a permanent berth in a programme interview a few weeks ago: thanks, but no thanks.

I can make one prediction with confidence about this match: the symmetry of Charlton's away record will end. Currently we have won four, drawn four and lost four. Watford have lost as many matches at home as away (four), but I fear a loss for the Addicks to start 2013. Odds are: Watford 5/6, Draw 5/2, Charlton 10/3

Whilst we shouldn't blame referees for our own poor performances, it's not good news that Trevor Kettle is refereeing this match. He rewarded the horror tackle on Grant Basey at Bristol Rovers by Dominic Blizzard with a yellow card, although he did have the grace to apologise afterwards. Views by fans of this cloud of steam are far from favourable: Kettle

In the event of a defeat, if Chris Powell is not provided with a taxi then or shortly afterwards, he is probably safe for the rest of the season, barring a complete collapse. We don't need to add to the crazy turnover of Championship managers.

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