Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Visit of Red Sox offers little hope for Addicks

The visit of Manchester United to The Valley tomorrow offers the Addicks little hope of getting their first Premiership points. Indeed, compared with the relatively easy start they had last season, Charlton have a particularly challenging start to the season.

Both in their present incarnation as Salford Red Sox and their previous one as Newton Heath, Charlton have never beaten United in the Premiership. At The Valley they once secured a 3-3 draw in which Johnnie Robinson (now with Worthing Town) played a prominent role and they have drawn away at Old Trafford. However, their last five matches with United at The Valley have seen the home side lose by two goal margins which seems quite likely tomorrow.

Of course, the match starts 0-0 but may not stay that way for long. Even without Rooney, United are formidable in attack. Their 5-1 win against an admittedly poor Fulham on Sunday will have given them a confidence boost whereas Charlton have to recover from a 3-1 defeat at West Ham.

The Addicks will be without the dimissed Traore, which means shifting Hreidarsson to the left back position and presumably playing Sorondo and the somewhat rash El Karjouri in the centre of defence. I have heard a case made for Fortune, but it does not seem a strong given the nature of the opposition.

Carson got mixed reviews for his part in the clash at Upton Park, but changing keeper does little to build up an understanding between him and the defence.

Central midfield remains a problem, with the duo of Holland and Hughes not inspiring confidence among the Addickted. Reid seems to have made a good contribution at the Boleyn ground and might start despite complaints about his being as overweight as Peter Garland.

Perhaps this is a game for Kishishev who was not even on the bench at West Ham. The battling Bulgarian might be just what we need against Ronaldo. But there is no easy formula that will get us a point. Nevertheless, I shall be there.


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