Jose Riga makes his return to The Valley this weekend as The Addicks welcome Blackburn Rover to SE7. Riga returned as Head Coach after replacing Karel Fraeye last week. He now has the task to steer The Addicks clear of relegation to League One with 19 Games to play.
LEWIS CATT previews tomorrow’s game
Inspirational skipper Johnnie Jackson issued a rallying cry ahead of this weekend’s clash at The Valley. A man who really must share our pain as supporters of this club, winless since November and 4 points adrift of safety with the worst goal difference in the division. Not to mention shipping 11 goals in just 2 league games.
Actions like this from the skipper are appreciated amongst us fans and only confirm Jackson’s legend status in SE7. The quote that stands out for me the most is “There has been more fighting talk than actual fight”.
Jackson is a man who knows just how key the relationship between the players and fans at this club is and that any bridges burnt under the current regime are somehow mended together by characters such as Jackson, Henderson and Solly… True Charlton mentalities.
Jose Riga returns to The Valley for his second spell in charge and even he appreciates how our current situation differs from our escape from the drop in 2014. Riga has had a week a preparation with his squad and made the addition of Jorge Teixiera from Standard Liege. Tony Watt also returns to the club after a permanent switch to Cardiff was quashed by a transfer embargo being placed on the Bluebirds.
More Protests are planned to take place this weekend with the Coalition Against Roland Duchatelet (C.A.R.D) releasing protest plans tomorrow at noon. With all the action off the field being in the spotlight of the press, let’s hope we can begin our climb to survival this Saturday.
Jose Riga has new recruit Jorge Teixiera ready to deploy against Rovers this weekend and he should start. After shipping 11 goals in 2 games both Roger Johnson and Rhys Williams would do well to keep their place in the starting XI.
Harry Lennon who played LB against Hull would be my preferred choice to partner JT but Naby Sarr will be breathing down his neck for a start. Tareiq Homes-Dennis will be knocking on the door for a starting role with Morgan Fox suffering dips in form. Solly should continue at RB.
In central midfield Riga has the options of Jackson, Cousins, Poyet and Ba, although the latter would more than likely only make the bench. Options on the wing include Johann Gudmundsson and Callum Harriott who both had little effect on the proceedings at the KC last weekend. Cristian Ceballos is back fit but probably not 100% ready in terms of match fitness.
Upfront Jose Riga has a number of options. Igor Vetokele completed some vital minutes last weekend and played ok in the circumstances, Ricardo Vaz Te played a small cameo role at Hull with Simon Makienok enduring the whole 90 minutes from the bench.
The biggest question will be whether Riga includes the next two players. Tony Watt as returned from a successful loan spell at Cardiff when it was almost a dead cert that he would be sold. Riga stated a “fully committed Tony Watt” has a future at Charlton, so let’s hope it’s a fully committed Tony Watt who has returned and I hope he is given the chance to spearhead our survival.
The other being young Ademola Lookman who is probably 50/50 for tomorrow’s game after a hamstring injury has kept him in the treatment room. His inclusion alongside Tony Watt is the partnership the fans maybe want to see. Kashi, Diarra and Bauer all remained sidelined, the latter undergoing groin surgery this week so we wish him a speedy recovery.
My Starting XI:
Henderson, Solly, Teixiera, Lennon, Holmes-Dennis, Gudmundsson, Jackson, Cousins, Harriott, Watt, Lookman.
Blackburn added Danny Graham and Elliot Ward to their ranks this week and both could feature on Saturday against The Addicks. Rovers are without a win in 6 if you exclude their cup victory in a replay against Newport County on Monday Night, so Paul Lamberts men will be looking to get back to winning ways against the struggling Addicks.
Blackburn have a few injury woes with Fode Koita, Nathan Delfouneso, Jason Lowe and Shane Duffy all out. Matthew Kilgallon should return to partner Ward in defence and one of new boys Simeon Jackson and Danny Graham will partner Jordan Rhodes up front. Rhodes has a habit of scoring against the Addicks and has humiliated our defences past and present so Jorge Teixiera will no doubt be handed the task of keeping an eye on the Scotsman.
You can’t be anything but optimistic these days so I am saying the Riga effect will return.
Charlton 3-1 Blackburn
Jackson, Lookman, Watt and Rhodes scoring the goals.