Overview and recent form:
Charlton are heading to The Amex on Saturday in the hope to get another three points and close the gap even further from the relegation zone.
Brighton are pushing for the play offs in seventh place, only two points away from Reading in sixth place and in good form which makes Saturday’s game both crucial and likely to be tough for both teams.
The Addicks managed to keep out of the bottom three after securing a 3-2 victory over bottom side Yeovil on Tuesday night at The Valley. This was only the second time that Charlton have scored more than two goals in any fixture all season.
It was The Red’s fourth midweek win in succession which opened the gap on chasing Barnsley and Yeovil but with Millwall managing to secure a 0-1 win at Wigan, it is now crucial that Charlton continue to get the three points and stay above Millwall.
For Yeovil, their fighting first half was put to rest with an early goal from the edge of the box from Astrit Ajdarević after nine minutes before the visitors levelled shortly after. I have to say that Yeovil looked threatening in the first half and it was the second half that Riga’s side came out like a different side pushing forward to score twice in two minutes, the first came from Johnnie Jackson’s corner from the left which saw Dorian Dervite rise higher than the rest and head the ball home three minutes into the second half. Charlton were fighting from every angle and two minutes later The Reds grabbed the third when Diego Poyet and Ghoochannejhad created an attack, which landed in the feet of Marvin Sordell that he fired the ball home from close range. Yeovil’s Keith Moore then got a goal back in the 74th minute.
Brighton’s recent form is certainly been unexpected as The Seagulls have only picked up five points in the last six games and their play off hopes were slowly diminishing after only coming away with a point at Barnsley and Blackburn, and previously defeated by Middleborough, Sheffield Wednesday and Ipswich at the end of last month. But Oscar Garcia’s men then shocked the league on Tuesday night as they thrashed Leicester 1-4 just three days after The Fox’s had been promoted to the Premier League thanks to goals from Stephen Ward, Jesse Lingard, and two from Jose Ulloa forced Leicester City fans to leave the Stadium in disgust after the shock victory from The Seagulls.
Reactions this week:
Jose Riga reflected on Tuesday night’s win to the press and said: “As I’ve always said after the game it’s a next step in a good direction. Today we have proven that we can also score.”
“It’s been a fixation that we can’t score goals. Now we have scored three times and I asked my players that next time we have to do both. Get a clean sheet and score three times.”
“That would be better for my health!”
For Charlton, Lawrie Wilson was forced to miss the midweek fixture after getting a stud to the eye against Reading last Saturday, which fractured his cheekbone; it is unknown as to wether he is able to participate on Saturday.
Leon Cort was on the team sheet on Tuesday and is now back to full fitness and his appearance on Tuesday received a great reception from the Charlton fans.
Chris Solly is still recovering from his long-term knee Injury but Alex Dyer recently said: “We’re hoping to have him back before the end of the season.”
For Brighton it has been mainly good news as Craig Mackail-Smith and Will Hoskins have returned after more than a year on the sidelines.
Rohan Ince has recently missed some games after getting a dead leg at the beginning of the month but he was a substitute on Tuesday night and is likely to be fit to play on Saturday.
The head-to-head record is 22 wins for Brighton and 21 for Charlton with the Addicks most recently coming out on top in a narrow 3-2 Boxing Day victory earlier in the season.
The first-ever match between the two sides came back on 22nd October 1921, with Charlton coming out on top in a 1-0 victory.
Charlton showed what they can do midweek and will hopefully bring The Seagulls back down to earth after their shock victory on Tuesday. Dale Stephens will be facing Charlton for the first time since he left earlier in the season and we do not want any of his long distance strikes!
Both teams are fighting for crucial points so it is going to be a tough game for everyone involved. Riga has asked for a clean sheet and three goals, so I’m hoping it all goes his way!
By Becca James