Friday, February 17, 2006

Brentford Preview

League one Brentford arrive at the Valley in decent form, and whilst on paper the tie looks a formality, we have all been Addicks long enough to know better than to assume victory versus lower league opposition in SE7.

Their last 5 results have all been wins, and four of them have produced clean sheets. Indeed, the last goal the Bees defence conceded was at home to Premiership strugglers Sunderland, who they disposed of in the last round.
Their strike force isn’t too shabby either. Only Swansea have scored more goals than Brentford in League One this season, and although top scorer DJ Campbell has departed for Birmingham, the side have managed to find the net 8 times in the three outings since his exit.

Charlton are a class above anything they have faced so far this term though, and I can’t see us losing this match, provided we match their work rate.

We must have good knowledge about the abilities and weaknesses of their centre back and vice captain Michael Turner, who was an Addick for 7 years before switching to Brentford. He is one of a few players who have connections with both clubs, Hermann Hreidarsson was Brentford’s record signing when he left for £750,000 back in 1998, and Marcus Bent also used to ply his trade at Griffin Park, although he won't be able to face his former club tomorrow because he remains cup-tied.

I assume that either Bartlett or Bothroyd will slot into Marcus’ place, allowing us to keep to the 4-4-2 formation Curbishley seems to favour at the moment. El Karkouri should also have done enough to keep his place in defence, while the only issue in midfield is whether or not to reinstall the fit again Matt Holland in place of either Hughes or Kishishev.

The club have employed the same ticketing strategy for this match as they employed last round against Orient, which means that once again there will be 5,500 away fans at The Valley.
In round 4 we managed to quieten down what promised to be a vocal away following by grabbing an early goal. The same again tomorrow should be the aim. The longer the match stays level, the more confidence the opposition fans and players will gain, so lets just go out there and play them off the park from start to finish. 100% commitment and passion is what is required, and if we can give that, then there is no reason why we can’t walk all over them.

A major final is well and truly in our sights, and there should be no issue with players lacking motivation. It’s a massive game, and as has been said elsewhere, there is no excuse for us not winning it.

Cynic Athletic’s prediction – 3-1 win (Bent, Bothroyd, Karkouri – Owusu)


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