Charlton’s fate was finally decided at the weekend when the club was relegated to League One after only drawing with Blackpool. However, they still have a duty to perform in this division, with all of their remaining fixtures against sides with everything to play for. The first of these games is against a Cardiff side who look destined to finish in the play offs, but one that have a slim chance of breaking into the top two as well.
It’s been a long time coming, but Charlton were finally relegated on Saturday and it concludes a truly miserable season for the Addicks. It wasn’t so long ago they were gracing the top half of the Premiership, but a turbulent few years has seen them crash down and they will now be playing League One football next season. The strange thing is, Charlton have actually been a tough side to beat throughout the last few weeks with Phil Parkinson’s men currently unbeaten in five. However, with four of those being draws, the Valley side simply didn’t collect enough points in recent weeks and it now looks as though they’re going to struggle to even get to the forty point mark.
Some would suggest that at the moment, Cardiff don’t have that much to play for either. The Bluebirds are currently sat in 4th position and with their top six place all but secure, you could say they can relax until the play off games come around in a few weeks. However, they do have three games remaining and with seven points separating them from 2nd place Birmingham, Dave Jones will still be clinging onto the small hope of grabbing an automatic position. One thing that’s certainly for sure is they’ll have to vastly improve from the weekend though, with the Ninian Park outfit being absolutely battered by Preston in a 6-0 mauling at Deepdale. Now, it remains to be seen how they’ll respond from that.
Charlton go into this game with one or two problems, with Phil Parkinson sweating on the fitness of Tresor Kandol and Darren Ambrose. Jonathon Fortune, Andy Gray and Jose Semedo are all expected to be out for the season, meaning that Parkinson could be without five men for this one. Dave Jones’ situation isn’t quite as severe with Kevin McNaughton being the only doubt as he struggles with a groin problem. However, with the 6-0 defeat to Preston just a few days ago, don’t be surprised if Jones rings the changes anyhow.
Their opponents may have already been relegated, but this is a huge test in Cardiff’s season. There are big question marks on how they will respond to Saturday’s result and with Charlton’s relegation still fresh in their mind, the Addicks players will want to at least put a good showing on for their supporters. With that, we’ll predict the unexpected – a 2-1 victory for the home side.