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Match Preview: Charlton Athletic v Aston Villa


ChrisVillan
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One of the most significant years in Villa's recent history off the pitch ends with a visit to Charlton on it.

FA Barclays Premiership

Saturday 30th December 2006

12.45pm Kick Off

The Valley

Ah, the end of another year and we're smack bang in the middle of the Christmas festival of football which, though exciting, always seems to trip up the Villa. That is of course excepting last season, which saw a nice little run of results as David O'Leary switched James Milner to left midfield and Steven Davis to the right, producing some of the best football of his time in the dugout. The following months saw Villa flirt with relegation, with safety all but sealed with a 3-1 win over Birmingham City at Villa Park.

The type of relegation battle we managed to just about float above last year - the one fought out by Birmingham, West Brom, Sunderland and Portsmouth - is the prospect facing new Charlton boss Alan Pardew between now and the end of the season. More on that later.

Villa have now not won in eight away league games and it's been a while at home too. It seems the adrenaline of the new era is beginning to run out, though it is seemingly to be replaced with real action. How times change. We sit in 10th position on 25 points, six behind Spurs in 7th and seven above the relegation zone and West Ham United, Pardew's former club.

Whatever your opinion is of the quality, depth or rightful league position of the squad, it seems clear that injuries are playing a part in Villa's dip in form, as they did at times last season. We currently have no fewer than NINE injuries to contend with. The long term absentees are Luke Moore, Martin Laursen and Mark Delaney. We have two injured goalkeepers: Stuart Taylor and Thomas Sorensen, with the latter's health improving steadily. Hopefully he will return soon.

The game at Spurs on Boxing Day saw Olof Mellberg and Aaron Hughes clash as they challenged Dimitar Berbatov, but both may be fit for the visit to Charlton. Stiliyan Petrov picked up a hamstring injury in the same game and looks set to miss the final game of 2006. To add insult to...erm...injury, Christ Sutton is now out for a few weeks with a bruised retina, identified after he missed out at White Hart Lane with double vision.

Martin O'Neill has said he expects on-loan goalkeeper Gabor Kiraly to play for Villa tomorrow, despite suggestions he may be recalled by Crystal Palace after their first choice picked up an injury.

Charlton are without Andy Reid (hamstring) and Luke Young (knee), while Amdy Faye is a doubt. Jerome Thomas may miss out through illness.

One might argue that injury is the least of Alan Pardew's worries. Having been amusingly but unceremoniously ousted by the new board at West Ham, swapping jobs with former Charlton boss, Pardew faces the impending relegation fight from a position of untold weakness. Already seven points from safety, Charlton are hovering above Watford, and currently second from bottom. The problem is Charlton are on their third manager of the season following the sackings of Iain Dowie and his suspiciously smug replacement Les Reed, and widely referred to as 'the worst team in the league'. Ominous indeed.

Aston Villa's last game was a 2-1 defeat at Tottenham Hotspur on Boxing Day, with goals from Jermain Defoe (2) and Gareth Barry. Charlton drew 2-2 at home to Fulham, with home goals by Darren Ambrose and Darren Bent sandwiched between an opener from Brian McBride and a last-gasp equaliser by Franck Queudrue. Mark Lawrenson has put himself firmly on the fence with a prediction of 1-1, but I think Villa will come away from The Valley with three points, beating Charlton 2-0.

What a year it's been for Villa. Happy New Year everyone.

Come on you Villa boys!

[CV]

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To add insult to...erm...injury, Christ Sutton is now out for a few weeks with a bruised retina, identified after he missed out at White Hart Lane with double vision.

More like adding injury to injury, then multiplying by 3 ...

I think this is a huge game (dare I say a must-win) considering the recent form and games looming with Chelsea and Man Utd.

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One of the most significant years in Villa's recent history off the pitch ends with a visit to Charlton on it.

FA Barclays Premiership

Saturday 30th December 2006

12.45pm Kick Off

The Valley

Ah, the end of another year and we're smack bang in the middle of the Christmas festival of football which, though exciting, always seems to trip up the Villa. That is of course excepting last season, which saw a nice little run of results as David O'Leary switched James Milner to left midfield and Steven Davis to the right, producing some of the best football of his time in the dugout. The following months saw Villa flirt with relegation, with safety all but sealed with a 3-1 win over Birmingham City at Villa Park.

The type of relegation battle we managed to just about float above last year - the one fought out by Birmingham, West Brom, Sunderland and Portsmouth - is the prospect facing new Charlton boss Alan Pardew between now and the end of the season. More on that later.

Villa have now not won in eight away league games and it's been a while at home too. It seems the adrenaline of the new era is beginning to run out, though it is seemingly to be replaced with real action. How times change. We sit in 10th position on 25 points, six behind Spurs in 7th and seven above the relegation zone and West Ham United, Pardew's former club.

Whatever your opinion is of the quality, depth or rightful league position of the squad, it seems clear that injuries are playing a part in Villa's dip in form, as they did at times last season. We currently have no fewer than NINE injuries to contend with. The long term absentees are Luke Moore, Martin Laursen and Mark Delaney. We have two injured goalkeepers: Stuart Taylor and Thomas Sorensen, with the latter's health improving steadily. Hopefully he will return soon.

The game at Spurs on Boxing Day saw Olof Mellberg and Aaron Hughes clash as they challenged Dimitar Berbatov, but both may be fit for the visit to Charlton. Stiliyan Petrov picked up a hamstring injury in the same game and looks set to miss the final game of 2006. To add insult to...erm...injury, Christ Sutton is now out for a few weeks with a bruised retina, identified after he missed out at White Hart Lane with double vision.

Martin O'Neill has said he expects on-loan goalkeeper Gabor Kiraly to play for Villa tomorrow, despite suggestions he may be recalled by Crystal Palace after their first choice picked up an injury.

Charlton are without Andy Reid (hamstring) and Luke Young (knee), while Amdy Faye is a doubt. Jerome Thomas may miss out through illness.

One might argue that injury is the least of Alan Pardew's worries. Having been amusingly but unceremoniously ousted by the new board at West Ham, swapping jobs with former Charlton boss, Pardew faces the impending relegation fight from a position of untold weakness. Already seven points from safety, Charlton are hovering above Watford, and currently second from bottom. The problem is Charlton are on their third manager of the season following the sackings of Iain Dowie and his suspiciously smug replacement Les Reed, and widely referred to as 'the worst team in the league'. Ominous indeed.

Aston Villa's last game was a 2-1 defeat at Tottenham Hotspur on Boxing Day, with goals from Jermain Defoe (2) and Gareth Barry. Charlton drew 2-2 at home to Fulham, with home goals by Darren Ambrose and Darren Bent sandwiched between an opener from Brian McBride and a last-gasp equaliser by Franck Queudrue. Mark Lawrenson has put himself firmly on the fence with a prediction of 1-1, but I think Villa will come away from The Valley with three points, beating Charlton 2-0.

What a year it's been for Villa. Happy New Year everyone.

Come on you Villa boys!

[CV]

chris ... imo the 12 points we gained last year over xmas was a result largely of the holding role that Eric Bakke played in giving the platform for Steven Davis & James Milner to play offensively.

The injuries are a major blow to us ..... but a bigger blow is the transfer starvation we have had over the last 5-10 years.

We cannot keep harping on about the past and what HDE did wrong...... we are looking to the future and despite all the difficulties that lie ahead in signing players.....Agents,European competition. International Duty, Located in Birmingham, Leaves on the rails oops...... we all recognise the Building programme HAS TO START......hopefully it will be sooner rather than later.If Martin fails to get who he wants ... he fails, but we must as a club be agressive in attempting to get who we want. We have had years of pussy footing......NOW LETS GET SERIOUS.

The summer might sound like the sensible option...."but a stitch in time save nine."

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Yes Tro - the rebuilding does have to start - but I am fast loosing hope. I fear that once again the promised millions will fail to materalise. The latest rumour is that we are about to take Alan Smith on loan. not a bad move in itself - but we are loosing matches , taking players on loan, and talking about 'sorting it out' at the end of the season. If my memory serves me correct - that is what was being said last year................has anything really changed ?

2-0 to charlton today - based on the fact that they scored 2 goals the another night........and we rarley look like scoring

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i think its a loss, alan pardew will i think get the charlton boys up for it...... either a draw, or 2-1, 2-0 loss.

I want us to win but i think every team has a bad patch in a season i believe this is our bad patch

WOHOOOOOO my prediction came up tops

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