Charlton’s preparations for the upcoming campaign continue tonight at Victoria Road against Dagenham & Redbridge, here’s Scott Blake’s look ahead to tonight’s fixture in East London…
With the start of the season looming, Charlton Athletic travel to Victoria Road this Wednesday as they continue their preparation for the 2015/16 campaign.
The friendly comes ahead of the Capital One Cup tie which sees the Daggers travel to SE7 on August 11th in the first round tie.
New additions Patrick Bauer, El-Hadji Ba, Simon Makienok and most recently Ahmed Kashi from French club Metz the Addicks will be looking to impress manager Guy Luzon with just under three weeks until the first game of the season.
Kashi comes with a wealth of experience in French football but after being exiled to the B team in Metz he will be looking to make his mark straight away.
With Luzon teasing Charlton fans with requests of four or five more signings it’s an exciting time to be a Charlton fan!
So what kind of side should we expect to see?
The friendly last weekend saw a very strong side put out against Dulwich Hamlet, mainly because of the cautiousness from Luzon with the side facing Sint Truiden on an artificial pitch.
Nevertheless with the team back from Belgium and Igor Vetokele revealing he’s close to full fitness, apart from the West Ham United friendly this weekend there is no reason why Luzon won’t give some of the stronger players a run out.
However, with the players only just back from the tour, the temptation to let them rest ahead of the weekend’s curtain raiser may be on Luzon’s mind too.
Rhoys Wiggins picked up an ankle injury against Dulwich and will be assessed before the match along with Stephen Henderson who was injured in the warm up.
Youngster Ayo Obileye could return to Victoria Park in different colours to last season after playing 26 times for The Daggers on loan last season before signing a new contract to stay with Charlton.
Leading the line, Luzon has the option to test the dangerous combination of Tony Watt and Igor Vetokele, however with the latter playing at the weekend he can be expected to rested in some part.
This could make way for Zak Ansah, Simon Makienok and the impressive youngster Karl Ahearne-Grant, pre-season fixtures often feature two separate teams so do not rule out seeing all four feature.
The team struggled with results on their Belgian tour, albeit with a weaker side in their four-goal defeat to Sint Truiden so the team will be hoping to rally round in Dagenham and build some momentum ahead of the season opener against QPR.
Dagenham and Redbridge have been in the Football League for eight years now and finished 14th in League Two last season.
The first round of the Capital One Cup saw them push Brentford, Championship promotion contenders last season, to penalties before crashing out.
Journeyman Jamie Cureton finished top scorer for the Daggers who notched 20 goals in all competitions, over a third of his teams goals.
We’ve met before: Previous Encounters…
In 2013, The Addicks travelled to Dagenham in another pre-season friendly which led to the now departed Danny Hollands and the academy graduate Callum Harriott notching a 2-0 win.
Just eight of the starting eleven remain from that side two years on in Harriott, Cousins and Solly.
The previous seven encounters, spanning from 2001 to 2013 saw The Addicks win three and draw two, they failed to beat The Daggers in their last league fixtures in the 2010/11 League One campaign.
Wednesday will probably see a lot of the youngsters tested at Victoria Road and may even see The Addicks at the expense of a winning result.
Whatever the result it is important to remember that pre-season is about raising fitness, getting the squad playing together and testing out the young players coming through ahead of the season.
Try not to get too down if Dagenham overpower a young or even experimental side from Luzon, but with our promising youngsters what do we have to fear?
Follow Scott on Twitter: @Scott_Blakey
Follow us on Twitter: @charltonlive