Saturday, February 25, 2006

Will it be that easy?

Many of the Addickted already have today's game against Aston Villa chalked up as three points, but I am not sure it will be that easy. Charlton are unbeaten at home in their last six league and cup games, but Villa have been doing quite well on the road. This might imply a draw, but my forecasting record this season has been atrocious. The Guardiam erroneously described me as a 'professor of football economics' the other day, but I am no professor of political forecasting either.

If we turn to the Fink Tank in The Times they are giving us a 54% chance of a home win which I think is about right, with a roughly 25% chance of a draw or away win. Our home record against Villa in the Premiership has been mixed. Our two home wins were both by the convincing margin of 3-0, Jeffers playing a key role last year, but we have also lost three times, twice by the margin of 1-2 and once by 0-1. The other match was a 3-3 draw.

Curbs has been ringing the changes a little bit in recent matches. There were complaints about dropping Smertin against Newcastle, but he has been a bit off the pace recently. Euell has been brought on as a sub in the last two league matches. Might he actually start? Marcus Bent could forage on the right with Euell in the hole behind Darren Bent. Might be quite an exciting combination, but possibly too exciting to be used. I expect El Karkouri to be on the bench at least. Sorondo, who was meant to be one of our first choice centre backs, is fighting his way back to fitness and will doubtless feature soon. I still have reservations about Spector and Chris Powell could well make a start having been rested at St.James's Park.

Good to see Darren Bent called up for the England squad. Let's hope his role is not confined to learning correct deportment on the bench or a ten minute cameo.


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