We've got a live TV appearance tomorrow and it's a game in which both sides need the three points following a downturn in both form and results of late. A predictable line-up for us, given that Stuart Pearce has confirmed Joey Barton will play despite the distraction of off-field events of this week. Looking at the likely team, it does expose the size of our squad with a lack of real options available to Pearce if he did want to shake things up.
We're unbeaten against Charlton in the last five games (although three of these have been drawn). Games have featured goals in the past, and Charlton's leaky defence of late will be a welcome sight considering our recent struggles in putting the ball in the net and iffy form away from home.
Charlton's strengths appear to be when they are going forward, with the impressive Bent augmented with Rommedahl, Smertin and Murphy from midfield - although as Inspector Sands mentions, they have cooled off of late. Defensively they don't look sound and collapsed in midweek in the Carling Cup against Blackburn, turning a 2-0 lead into a 3-2 defeat.
Defensively, we have remained solid and I'm confident that we should be able to contain the Charlton attack, but we need to see more creativity in going forward ourselves if we to have a realistic chance of coming away with all the points.
Invariably, when two sides who need the three points to shake of poor form meet neither side comes away with what they really need. So, with that in mind I can see an improved City performance but I have a feeling we will only take a share of the points with a 1-1 draw.