Charlton v Preston North | Sunday 3rd November 2019, 12:30 | Sky Sports
Sunday presents us with another potentially exciting, but certainly intriguing, Championship battle for us to sink our teeth into. After watching the majority of their rivals appear before them, Charlton and Preston now get the chance to climb a few places in the league standings. Charlton have won only twice in the last eight, whilst Preston also have two wins, but in their previous seven in their case.
If the recent head-to-head record is anything to go by then we’re in for a Sunday treat, with each of the last four featuring at least three goals, including a 5-2 thriller. Both teams were involved in more recent thrillers of their own last time out. Charlton netted a late, late penalty to earn a good away draw at leaders West Brom, whilst Preston got one of rivals Blackburn when winning 3-2 from 2-0 behind at Deepdale.
Battered Addicks remain competitive
Although Charlton haven’t won as many games of late as they’d have ideally liked, they remain more than a match for practically every side they’ve come up against. They’ve only lost four league games this season, three of which were by a one-goal margin. Four of their six league triumphs was ‘to nil’, but injuries have made their lives considerably harder of late.
Lee Bowyer himself is serving a touchline ban, but for the away draw at West Brom they found themselves without ten players. Jonathan Leko was ineligible to feature against his parent club, so he at least returns this weekend to boost their offensive ranks.
Sam Field was also in the same boat, but he too was injured and is out for some time. Jonathan Williams, Lyle Taylor, Ben Amos, Adam Matthews, Lewis Page, Jake Forster-Caskey, George Lapslie and Tomer Hemed have been keeping the club medical department busy in recent times.
Now that is a good excuse for Bowyer if he wanted to use it. They’ve got many men out, including key players like Taylor and Williams, so to gain a deserving away draw at West Brom just proves that this league is generally even eleven against eleven in most instances. After a series of low-scoring games earlier in the campaign, Charlton have seen their last five matches feature at least three goals.
Preston provide entertainment
I don’t think Alex Neil necessarily sets up his team to ‘entertain’ in the sense of playing in open and end-to-end games, but that’s the way it is. He certainly will want them to be much stronger defensively, like they have been in recent seasons.
That may seem a contradiction considering they have one of the better defensive records in the league, conceding only 16, but they’ve kept only three clean sheets. A few more of them and they’ll really rattle up this table, as going forward they a real threat.
Preston have only failed to score in two Championship games this season, both of which came away from home in 1-0 defeats to Millwall and Reading. Whilst they’re scoring plenty of goals, the most in the league going into the weekend, they haven’t actually been creating as many chances as those numbers may suggest.
PNE are scoring 1.90 goals per game on average, coming from an average of 10.50 shots per game, the fourth-lowest in the league. This proves that they’re clinical and make the most of their spells of pressure.
They could have some joy this weekend knowing that Charlton have conceded the second-highest average shot count in the division, with only Luton having more. Neil however clearly sets up his side differently at home compared to away.
6/8 home games finish above 2.5 goals, but 5/6 away finished under. They’ve only won once away so this stance isn’t necessarily working, and knowing Charlton concede plenty of chances means that the Lancashire club should be having a go in this one.
The betting angles
There was a stat that I came across that immediately caught my eye ahead of this game. Both Charlton and Preston have played 14 Championship games this season, with Preston managing only three extra points.
However, both teams have managed to score the first goal on 10 occasions, the joint-highest of any side in this league. To me, that proves they both look to start strong and both teams have are in the top-four in terms of first-half results this season.
I’m happy to have a bit of a punt on Over 1.5 Goals at 21/10 (Coral). It could be a case of both cancelling one another out but I don’t see either of these teams looking to be too conservative and safe in this one, especially after having such excellent starts to the season.
The final play is on a scorer, and we’ll plump for Macauley Bonne Anytime at an appealing 5/2 (Bet365). The goals are more evenly spread across the Preston squad coming from 10 different players in league action, although Daniel Johnson is responsible for eight of them, but five are penalties.
Former Leyton Orient man Bonne however has five goals from eight appearances, including one in four of his last five showings, and the past four in succession.