Date: 24th February 2006 at 1:39pm
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Charlton are using this match as a barometer as to ‘where they are at’ form wise following what Curbs describes as a ‘really tough couple of months.’ But Villa HAVE to pick up away points due to our awful home form this season with O’Leary admitting the pressure is on them away from home due to the poor displays at the ground formerly known as Fortress Villa Park!

Vital Quotes:

O’Leary said: ‘Leave the Aston Villa name out of it, both of us are handling the same budgets money-wise. They may not have the great name or tradition of Aston Villa but in general terms we’re in the same boat. Alan Curbishley has probably had more chance to shape the squad because he’s had longer in the job. They’ve had a successful run and have been on an even keel for some years and it’s proved that people given longer, for example Sam Allardyce at Bolton has had six years, do better.’

Charlton Athletic Team News:

According to the Vital Charlton site: Charlton Site Preview Click Here

Assuming there are no surprises, expect a return to 4-4-2 for the game with Villa, with Marcus Bent moving up front. Chris Powell and Alexei Smertin were rested against Newcastle, but its probable that at least one of the pair will return on Saturday, at the expense of Jonathan Spector or Matt Holland.

Jerome Thomas, injured in training just prior to the Newcastle game, may be fit to return although he may now have to wait while Darren Ambrose gets another chance wide left. Dennis Rommedahl, missing with a rib injury for some time now, could be fit to return, although lack of match fitness means that a place on the bench is the best that he can hope for. Probable Chartlon team: Myhre, Young, Powell, Hriedarsson, Perry, Kishishev, Smertin, Hughes, Ambrose, Bent M, Bent D. Subs: Andersen, Spector, Holland, Thomas, Bothroyd.

Player to watch: Byran Hughes

According to the Charlton editor he’ll be fired up as a former Blue Nose.

Aston Villa Team News:

Mark Delaney will miss up to 3 weeks with a knee injury picked up in the FA Cup match v Man City. Phillips will be hoping to get a look in after the stale striker performances v Man City, but knowing DOL our best natural goalscorer will remain on the bench. Baros and Moore will be most likely to start. (from): Sorensen, Taylor, Hughes, Mellberg, Ridgewell, Samuel, Davis, McCann, Milner, Hendrie, Angel, Baros, Phillips, Moore, Whittingham, Hendrie, De La Cruz.

Player to watch: Liam Ridgewell

He has got to make sure he keeps his concentration and helps Mellberg stay solid following the injury to Delaney.

Match Facts & Stats

Villa are 15th
Best case 13th, worst case remaining 15th.
Away form league: 7th, 4 wins, 5 draws, 4 losses.
Current form: 8th
Last six games: W L D D W L

Charlton are 12th
Best case 11th, worst case 13th.
Home form league: 15th, 5 wins, 2 draws, 6 losses
Current form: 18th
Last six games: D D L W L D

Last season: Charlton Athletic 3-0 Aston Villa (Jeffers 29 and 34. Young 58)
This season: Aston Villa 1-0 Charlton Athletic (Davis)

Villa v Charlton in the Prem: Charlton 3 wins, Villa 8 wins, 2 Draws.
Record at the Valley: Charlton 2 wins, Villa 3 wins, 1 Draws

Ref Watch:

Chris Foy, 11 matches, 2 reds, 28 yellows.

Match Prediction:

Mystic mug wants to know how he is expected to predict the unpredictable Villa? One minute we look like we have turned the corner, the next – like against Man City, we are back to square one. Mystic is sitting firmly on the fence saying a draw.

Next Fixtures:

04/03/2006 PORTSMOUTH
11/02/2006 (Blackburn Rovers) (Sky 5.15pm)
18/02/2006 (Everton) 12.45pm


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