Opposition watch: Charlton Athletic

The low-down on Wanderers' Good Friday opponents from The Valley

A fixture which has been played 84 times during the history of the Football League, Wanderers currently hold the upper hand by some distance in terms of victories with 42 as opposed to the Addicks’ 27 in all competitions.

Last season’s clashes marked the first between the two sides in five years given Charlton’s relegation from the top flight in May 2007, with each team recording a win apiece on their respective home grounds.

With David Ngog’s brace at the Reebok settling the scores in BL6, the Londoners proceeded to record what had initially seemed to be an unlikely victory in the reverse fixture at The Valley in March of last year.

Having fallen behind to Marvin Sordell and Medo Kamara’s early goals, the hosts rallied and drew level on the hour mark courtesy of Dorian Dervite’s strike following Sam Ricketts’ dismissal.

Not content with just a solitary point however, the Addicks took the lead in the clash just three minutes later through Yann Kermorgant from the penalty spot, with Craig Davies receiving his marching orders in injury time to ensure that the Whites finished the clash with just nine men on the field.

Prior to last season’s meeting at The Valley, Wanderers had in fact won three of their last four trips to Charlton – a statistic that they will be keen to extend this Good Friday given their impressive form on their travels of late, with the team currently unbeaten on the road since defeat at Ipswich Town on February 1.

The Addicks themselves staged something of a late rally for the play-offs last term following victory over the Whites, with the Greenwich based side recording a respectable 9th place finish in the Sky Bet Championship standings.

Form which led many to believe that Charlton would again challenge amongst the top half of the table yet again during the current campaign, things haven’t gone to plan for the Addicks with them currently sitting just a solitary point above the drop zone with five games left to play.

Boasting a game in hand on 22nd placed Millwall however, Jose Riga’s side firmly have their destiny in their own hands as the season heads towards its conclusion and will be hoping to bounce back from Tuesday evening’s defeat to fellow strugglers Barnsley against Wanderers.

The year of 2014 has certainly been one of upheaval for Charlton, with manager Chris Powell being relieved of his duties back in March with Belgian coach Riga taking over the reins at The Valley following his departure.

A man who was last involved in management two years ago with Belgian side Standard Liège, the 56-year-old has been tasked with ensuring that the Addicks do not make a return to League One come May 3.

With time of the essence however, Riga will be hoping that his vast experience in coaching will reap dividends as the campaign enters its final furlong.
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