Charlton Athletic will be hoping to get their first win in three this Sunday against Preston North End, in what will be the first meeting between the sides since February 2016.
After a 2-1 loss to Bristol City and a 2-2 draw against West Bromwich Albion in their last fixture, Lee Bowyer will be keen for his players to get the winning feeling back, which may prove to be a tough assignment as Preston currently sit in second place in the division.
The Addicks, who currently sit in 9th spot, will move level on points with their opponents with a win.
That will give extra motivation to Bowyer and his players. The manager will be back in the dugout for this game, after serving a three-match touchline ban for an FA improper conduct charge.
It has been a solid start to life in the second tier for the SE7 side after an absence of three seasons, but injuries to key players have taken their toll on Bowyer’s squad.
Jonny Williams and Sam Field are long-term absentees, and Lyle Taylor has been out since late September. Despite that, his replacement has been doing an excellent job in his absence.
Macauley Bonne signed for Charlton in the summer transfer window from Leyton Orient, for a fee of £203,000.
It was a risk, but the reason the Addicks recruited Bonne was clear; he scored 23 goals for Leyton Orient last season as the O’s won the National League title under their the late Justin Edinburgh.
During Orient’s first season in the fifth tier back in 2017-18, Bonne struck 22 times – meaning his tally of league goals in the past two seasons is 45.
Naturally, that would attract interest from clubs in the EFL. When Charlton announced the 23-year-old as their first summer signing in June, it was expected that he would be a back-up option.
Should Bowyer play Bonne and Taylor together?
Charlton fans were unsure whether an ex-non league player could replicate his form in the Championship. Prior to joining Orient, Bonne was at Colchester United but was not prolific – he found the net 15 times in 84 appearances.
Bonne did not play a part in six of Charlton’s first seven fixtures. However, he scored in his first start for the club against Leeds United at The Valley, helping his side to a 1-0 win.
Since then, the Zimbabwe International has been in excellent form, netting in his last four games for the Addicks.
He is an instinctive finisher, and is great at heading the ball – two of his five goals for Charlton have been headed efforts.
Charlton will hope that Bonne can keep his excellent form going, and the prospect of playing with Lyle Taylor in a two man strike-force could get Addicks fans excited.