Friday, August 18, 2006

West Ham Preview

A brand new Charlton Athletic will take to the field tomorrow afternoon against West Ham at Upton Park. Plenty of new players, a new management team, new songs from the terraces, and hopefully some new ideas about the way Premiership football should be played.

We all know the size of the job Iain Dowie undertook when he agreed to take over the reins from Curbishley, and from what I have seen of the man so far, I am impressed with the way he has set about it. For so long this summer the squad looked dangerously think in places, but five new faces within the last 10 days have really bolstered those positions, and although many of the new recruits haven’t had much time to train with their new team mates, I am confident that over the course of the next few weeks they will settle in, and in 38 games time we will once again finish mid-table in what is widely described as the toughest league in the World.

As for the starting XI tomorrow, Amdy Faye is almost certain to start in the middle of the park, and I would imagine that Kishishev will be in there alongside him. Myhre should keep his place between the sticks, and a back four of Young, Hreidarsson, Karkouri and Traore is the most likely in my opinion. Bent and Hasselbaink will no doubt form our most lethal striking partnership since Hunt and Mendonca, and that just leaves the two wide positions to fill.

I think it’s safe to say that this game will have come too soon for Andy Reid to be considered for a starting place, he has just returned to training after a 4 ½ week injury and claims on the official site that he ‘still needs a bit of work’ before he will be match fit. I actually think that Dowie will opt for Rommedahl and Hughes, but I wouldn’t be too surprised if Ambrose pips one of them to the post.

From a Wet Sham perspective, new boy Robert Green will probably make his first start against the club that he was having a medical with 5 days ago, and former (useless) Addick Carlton Cole looks likely to benefit most from Ashton’s unfortunate injury. The reunion theme will be continued in midfield where old boy Lee Bowyer will no doubt make his debut, and while in defence, last season’s loanee Johnathan Spector (along with Konchesky of course) will also come face to face with their former colleagues.

We all want a good start to the season, of course we do, but the fixture computer hasn’t done us too many favours this time around and in truth, I think that one win from our first three games would be a decent return. If you're going to Upton Park tomorrow, make sure you're loud and proud.

Cynic Athletic’s Prediction – 1-1 Draw (Hasselbaink – Cole)


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