Sunday 13 March 2016

Boro to serve the last rites?

That is the headline in today's Football League Paper previewing today's match between Charlton and Middlesbrough. It refers to the mock funeral procession before the game and the 74th minute planned walkout by fans.

Boro are confident that any disruption caused by the exit of coach Aitor Karanka will be more than offset by the unrest at The Valley which they think will play into their hands. Midfielder Adam Forshaw told the FLP, 'If we can go there as a team and put in a good performance then hopefully there will be a few cracks in Charlton.' Contrasting the two sets of fans, he said, 'Our fans have been fantastic this season.'

The Addicks have scored just one goal in their past five league meetings with Middlesbrough. Boro are unbeaten in four league visits to The Valley, winning three. Only MK Dons (30) have scored fewer goals than Charlton this season (32).

Boro have won only one of their past six away league games (D2 L3) and have lost both of the last two. A points haul of 29 from their opening 36 games is the Addicks' worst return since the 2008-09 season, when they were relegated to League One (27 points).

There are often comments about a particular player being 'the worst I have ever seen in a Charlton shirt.' That is a very competitive league, but I do think that Simon Makienok is the worst forward I have seen playing for Charlton in the last twenty years. Unfortunately, with Sanogo foolishly getting himself sent off, we have few options up front with Lookman having to be protected as a saleable asset.

Although one doesn't want to overdo the pessimistic negativity, it's difficult to see Charlton claiming even one point today.

Odds are: Charlton 19/4, Draw 14/5, Middlebrough 8/13.

Those planning to travel by train should be warned that services appear to be minimal. Travel to and from London Bridge is convoluted, often taking as much as one hour.

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