Its a battle between two teams who have underachieved considerably this season. Iain Dowie’s team from the Valley are at the bottom of Premiership table with just five points to boot as the entertain Stuart Pearce’s City who are currently thirteenth. The Valley hasn’t been a famous hunting ground for Iain Dowie considering the fact that he was relegated with Crystal Palace on the same ground two seasons ago on the final day. He will have to change things around quickly at the Valley, if he wants to keep his job.
Charlton have lost seven matches till date and will be pressing for their first win in eight. Their last game was a timid 0-0 draw against the Magpies. Charlton though have got a good Cup run going, they are away to Chesterfield on Tuesday on League Cup duty, the same team which knocked out Manchester City from the competition. On the injury front, Jerome Thomas is scheduled to have a late fitness test while Gonzalo Sorrondo, Cory Gibbs and Djimi Traore are out of the fixture. Jimmy Hasselbaink will make his way back into the attacking fold which is currently led by Darren Bent and Dennis Rommedahl.
Last week, Manchester City fought back with a hard-earned 1-0 win at home after their mauling at the hands of Wigan two weeks ago. City havent won two games on the bounce for quite a long time now, and a visit to bottom of the table Charlton will give them enough opportunity to put their record straight. Pearce’s squad is getting stronger now with Trabelsi, Dickov, Vassell all back from injury. Only Isaksson and Dabo are still not available for selection.
My pick: City are hopelessly poor away from home having picked up just one point from a possible 15, hence I opt for a draw in this one. 1-1 draw with Barton and Hasselbaink to score. Both goals in the second half !