FOOTBALL LEAGUE fan Jack Lambden (@_JackL_) shares his thoughts on Friday night's match-up between Charlton and Hull at The Valley.
Charlton v Hull | Friday 13th December 2019, 19:45 | Sky Sports
Charlton’s early season promise has quickly faded amidst an injury crisis which has left the Addicks just 6 points above the relegation zone with just over half the campaign remaining. Lee Bowyer’s men have now lost 10 of their last 15 games, a stark contrast to just a few months ago when they sat second after an unbeaten start against all the odds.
Tuesday evening’s 1-0 defeat to Huddersfield was an agonising one for the Addicks faithful – the away side scoring a 92nd-minute winner after Charlton thought they had weathered the storm with a string of fine saves from ‘keeper Dillon Phillips kept the scores level.
The defensive resolve shown in the early weeks and the luck that came with it has long gone but it is certainly no coincidence that the downturn in fortunes came at the same time as Lyle Taylor’s injury.
Taylor returned to the squad in the last week but it is clear that it could take time for the Montserrat striker to get back to full fitness after being out with a knee problem. Until such time that Bowyer can get his main man and so many of his first-teamers back firing, the run of nine games without a win could stretch further and he will need to rally his troops to get through to January when the arrival of reinforcements is likely.
Charlton fans must have punched the air in delight when hearing recent news of the takeover of the club nearing completion, finally putting an end to the rotten period of Roland Duchatelet. The incumbents have commented that they will back Bowyer with whatever he needs to fulfil his values and ambitions which certainly suggests some funding could be forthcoming, and not before time.
If there’s a set of fans that can sympathise with having to put up with dreadful owners then look no further than Hull City. Assem Allam is another Chairman that has completely alienated his own fanbase with some wacky decisions and communication, so the Tigers supporters will be hoping that their Egyptian head honcho will soon decide that enough is enough and he decides to sell the club and bring the nightmare reign to an end.
On the pitch, things have been a lot brighter for City. Manager Grant McCann is doing an equally great job to his opposite number on Friday by overachieving with a relatively small budget for this level. Nonetheless, Hull have been similarly reliant on one man to score goals and ultimately win them games.
Jarred Bowen has bagged 47% of City’s goals this season which, following 22 in the whole of 2018/19, has attracted the interest of Premier League clubs. Scouts of those clubs will no doubt be watching this game either in person or via the TV cameras and Bowen will want to make the same impact he did in his last televised appearance, scoring two goals in the draw at Middlesbrough.
Bowen is recording 3.80 shots per-game which is the third0highest of all players in the Championship. However, only five of his 15 goals this season have come away from the KCOM Stadium so 7/4 best price with Unibet on him to score anytime at the Valley is just a lean for me.
Bowen, even if he does not find the net again, should cause plenty of problems for Charlton with his dribbling skills and creativeness. The Addicks are a physical side under Bowyer, racking up 46 cards this season which is more than 22 of their divisional rivals. Three players in the Reds’ squad have received six or more cards which proves that they are not afraid to fly into a tackle or two.
Ben Purrington will line up at left wing-back and therefore be directly responsible for dealing with the threat of Bowen and the former Wimbledon player is Evens with SkyBet to make 2 or more tackles. The last two left-backs taking on Bowen, Leeds’s Stuart Dallas and Stoke’s Stephen Ward, put in six and three tackles respectively so I think the even money price is an attractive one.
Hull fought hard at table toppers Leeds in midweek, making life difficult for Marcelo Bielsa’s men but ultimately fell to two second half goals. The Leeds manager reserved special praise for McCann’s troops after the game, praising their attacking intent but there’s no doubt that Hull need to turn some of those performances into more consistent results if they are to challenge for the playoffs.
The second half was the highest scoring one in both these team’s midweek defeats and it’s been a common theme throughout their respective matches. Charlton games have featured 32 second half goals compared to 22 in the first half, with Hull seeing almost double the amount of second half goals – 40 compared to 21 in the first 45 minutes.
Therefore, the second half to be the highest scoring again here has to be considered at 11/10 with Paddy Power.
Charlton v Hull – Ben Purrington to make 2 or more tackles (1/1 SkyBet)
Charlton v Hull – Second Half Highest Scoring Half (11/10 Paddy Power)