Charlton Athletic resume their campaign against Derby County tomorrow, as the Addicks look to cement their place in the Championship’s top ten.
Lee Bowyer will have to watch his Charlton side from the stands for the next few weeks, having been dealt a three-match touchline ban by the FA.
But he’ll be hoping his side can do some damage to Philip Cocu’s Derby County tomorrow, as the 13th-placed Rams look to breach the top-half of the table after a dismal start to the season, both on and off the pitch.
Will Charlton make the Championship play-offs this season?
Cocu will be expecting a tough task in London tomorrow. Charlton have taken ten points from six home games this season with wins over Stoke, Brentford and Leeds.
With just one win in their last five though, Charlton will be looking to refresh their season after what was a flying start to the campaign. Here we take a look at two ways Charlton can hurt Derby tomorrow:
Goals from midfield
Probably the main contributing factor behind Charlton’s start to the season, and arguably their downturn in form of late, was striker Lyle Taylor.
Five goals from his opening six games placed Charlton in the play-offs but having suffered an injury on international break last month, he’s not played since.
In his absence, Bowyer’s side has evidently been weakened. But he still has the tools to frustrate Derby tomorrow, and he’ll be relying on players across the pitch to get him the goals.
Conor Gallagher could well get himself on the score-sheet tomorrow. The England U21 midfielder has four Championship goals already this season, his last coming in Charlton’s 2-2 draw at Fulham before the break.
He could prove pivotal in the game tomorrow.
Effective without the ball
A hallmark of any good team is their ability when out of possession.
Charlton’s best performance of the season so far was their 1-0 win at home to Leeds at the end of last month. Bowyer’s side won the game with only 28% of the ball, and three shots throughout the whole game.
With Derby starting to build some momentum, they’re unbeaten in five Championship games, they may try and dictate the game at The Valley tomorrow.
But that could work in favour in Charlton, who showed against Leeds that they’re just as effective with less of the ball against tougher foe.
It’s sure to be an exciting encounter in the Championship tomorrow, and Bowyer will be looking for a real team performance to see them take all three points.