Alex Stedman takes a look at the upcoming fixture against Nottingham Forest who are chasing a play-off spot, whilst Charlton are fighting relegation.
Jose Riga’s three game unbeaten run as Charlton manager came to an end on Saturday afternoon at the hands of promotion chasing Burnley.
After three steely performances, Saturday’s game against the Clarets saw the Addicks go out with a whimper in front of their own fans.
However, Tuesday’s game away at Nottingham Forest provides Riga’s men with the opportunity to quickly put things right.
Forest announced the dismissal of manager Billy Davies for the second time in four years earlier today, with rumours suggesting that Neil Warnock is set to be his replacement.
The turmoil at the City Ground means there is no better time for Charlton to go and play the Midlands club.
Before Saturday the Addicks were in fine form, but it is important not to read too much into the defeat, given the fact that along with Leicester City, Burnley look destined for the Premier League.
Successive 0-0 draws against Huddersfield and Millwall were followed by a last-gasp 1-0 over Bournemouth at the Valley last Tuesday.
These types of performances against the more beatable opposition in the division, coupled with the fact that Forest lost 5-0 away to Derby at the weekend, mean Charlton fans should be approaching the contest in relatively positive fashion.
The reds are without a win in their last five matches, and the weekend defeat to neighbours Derby County proved to be the final nail in the coffin for Billy Davies.
Defeats to Wigan and Barnsley were followed by below par draws to Middlesbrough and Doncaster, before the mauling by Steve McClaren’s side on Saturday.
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Saturday’s defeat to Burnley saw Ben Hamer continue in goal, with Lawrie Wilson, Michael Morrison, Dorian Dervite and Rhoys Wiggins all ahead of him in defence.
These players had seen Charlton keep three successive clean sheets. And it wouldn’t be any surprise if Riga opts to stick with them for Tuesday night’s game.
In midfield, Diego Poyet produced another outstanding performance on Saturday – it’s something Charlton fans have come to expect from the teenager, and he looks sure to start at the City Ground.
Danny Green and Jonathan Obika flanked Johnnie Jackson and Jordan Cousins in midfield against Sean Dyche’s side – but midfield is where I think we may see Riga make some changes.
It wouldn’t surprise me if Riga opts for 4-5-1 tomorrow, and I’d like to see Obika given the lone striker role, with Harriott replacing Church and switching to the left hand side.
Wilson Morrison Dervite Wiggins
Green Poyet Jackson Cousins Harriott
Billy Davies sent out his side in a 4-5-1 formation on Saturday, presumably looking to stifle the talented Derby attack – the 5-0 defeat, along with recent form, must be a real worry for fans.
Karl Darlow will likely keep his place in goal again, but it will be interesting to see if the defence changes after the weekend capitulation.
The Premier League experienced trio of Jara Reyes, Danny Collins and Danny Fox, along with the young Jamal Lascelles is a solid defence on paper, it shouldn’t be letting in five goals in the manner in which it did against Derby.
In midfield, Jamie Mackie and Jamie Paterson were named out wide, with Guy Moussi and Jonathan Greening supporting Radoslaw Majewski in the middle, with Simon Cox operating up front.
Majewski has been very disappointing so far this season, and I’d expect Forest to replace the Polish playmaker with another striker for Tuesday’s game – cue either Darius Henderson or Matt Derbyshire.
Jara Lascelles Collins Fox
Mackie Greening Moussi Paterson
The game at the City Ground could well be a cagey affair, with Charlton likely to be set up to stay in the game for as long as possible. The home side will be keen to avoid another defeat as their push for the play offs is in danger of fading away before Easter.
If Charlton can produce a defensive performance like the ones in Riga’s first three games, it could be a worthwhile trip up the M1 for the Addicks.
Nottingham Forest 0-1 Charlton.
By Alex Stedman