Charlton Athletic Preview
The Addicks have had a very good season so far and continue to sit proudly in one of the Champions League places in the Premiership ahead of the much fancied Liverpool and Newcastle United and despite the sale of influential midfielder Scott Parker to Chelsea, the South London side still have enough about them to provide difficulties for the Wanderers.
Wanderers themselves have also surprised a few people with their cup exploits and now sit comfortably in mid-table whereas many would have been predicting an annual struggle for the Lancashire side, this however is not the case and tommorow sees two of the country's surprise packages go head to head.
Wanderers will be without their star man Jay-Jay Okocha for the trip to London. The Nigerian international is still in Tunisia representing the Super Eagles in their African Nations Cup bid so it is expected that Kevin Nolan will return from suspension to partner Per Frandsen in the midfield. However Sam Allardyce has doubts over three players with Simon Charlton (groin), Kevin Davies (rib) and Youri Djorkaeff (hamstring) all feeling the effects of injury after the midweek Carling Cup tie with Aston Villa. New signing Steve Howey is expected to play some part for Wanderers following his move from Leicester City whilst former Charlton player Anthony Barness is also hoping to feature against his old collegues.
Charlton manager Alan Curbishley will have to do without the afformentioned Scott Parker, but despite the sale of the England midfielder to Chelsea the Addicks boss is able to call on former Bolton favourite Claus Jensen. South African striker Shaun Bartlett is once again available following an ankle injury as is fellow striker Kevin Lisbie who has resumed training following a back problem. However the Red Army must do without defensive duo Richard Rufus and Gary Rowett who both have long term knee injuries.
Last season in the corresponding fixture it took a superb overhead kick five minutes from time by former French international Youri Djorkaeff to earn Wanderers a point in a 1-1 draw after former Bolton defender Mark Fish had given the home side the lead. Earlier on this season both sides fought out a drab goaless draw at the Reebok Stadium in August which saw Emerson Thome make his first appearance in Wanderers colours.
PLAYED FOR BOTH