Reds vs Charlton Athletic
Charlton Athletic vs Barnsley – Saturday 13 April – kick off 15.00
Form over last five league fixtures – W, L, W, D, W
Tell me more...
After spending a seven-year stint in England’s top flight, the past decade has brought with it a shadow of uncertainty that has followed the club through two relegations and several new managers, but the gloom is finally starting to rise for the club with a familiar face leading their revival.
Two years after celebrating the club's centenary, and guiding the Addicks to an eleventh-placed finish in the Premier League, Alan Curbishley resigned from the club after 15 years in the hot seat. A key moment for many of the clubs fans as the clubs tumble through the divisions began with this moment.
Relegation at the end of the 2006/07 season was confirmed, the club's top goalscorer Darren Bent was sold to Tottenham, plummeting attendances and a mid-table finish in their first season back in the second tier. It would be fair to say that things did not go to plan for Charlton, and the situation was to get more worrying when the Addicks fell through the relegation trapdoor the following season and into League One.
Charlton not only suffered Play-Off heartbreak the following season, but were consigned to another season in League One after losing to Swindon Town on penalties, when they had spent the majority of the season within the top six. A change of ownership spelled the end for manager Phil Parkinson, who was replaced with former fans' favourite, and current manager, Chris Powell. The former England left-back last season led the club to the League One title, and in that time amassed the club's highest ever points total in a season after picking 101 points in his first full season as manager, and after consolidation this season, Powell is aiming to take the London based side back to the big time.
Chris Powell is expected to name the same starting 11 that defeated Leeds United at the Valley in their last fixture, which means Jonathan Obika, the Tottenham loanee who struck the winner in that game, will have to once again settle for a place amongst the substitutes as Ricardo Fuller is partnered up front with Yann Kermongant.
Their season so far...
Charlton will travel to Oakwell sitting right in the middle of the Championship pack after they made their return to the second tier after their title-winning campaign last year. Two wins in the first nine fixtures meant the Addicks were routed in the bottom half of the table, but the tides changed and Chris Powell's side improved in November before slumping again during December. Like most teams around the division, inconsistency has held the club back, particularly at home this campaign, where they have only tasted victory on six occasions on a ground that they had so much success on last year.
Who's their star man?
Former Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Johnnie Jackson was the influential figure as he guided his team through their title-winning campaign last season and back into the Championship. The 30-year-old is the London-based club's top-scorer this season with 10 goals and possesses a deadly left foot that is particularly useful when it comes to set pieces.
Charlton have not recorded anything better than a two-goal win over any of their opponents all season. They have won 2-0 on three occasions against Blackpool, Bristol City and Peterborough United, but they did score five times against the league leaders Cardiff City in the nine-goal thriller at The Valley back in November. The visitors had a comfortable 2-0 lead before Charlton turned the game on its head with five goals in the space of 26 minutes. Cardiff cut the deficit with two injury-time strikes, but could not find the elusive equaliser.
Funnily enough, the Addicks were on the end of their biggest defeat of the season only days before they beat table-topping Cardiff. Middlesbrough climbed up to second at the start of November after comprehensively defeating Chris Powell's side 4-1 on their turf. Rob Hulse did open the scoring for the home side but former England defender Jonathan Woodgate headed in the equaliser, which took the sides level at half time. It was all the visitors in the second half with in-form striker Scott McDonald, Emmanuel Ledesma and Richard Smallwood rounded up the scoring that left Charlton perched a place above the drop zone.
Blast from the past...
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These two sides, until back in October, have been kept apart after Charlton were relegated from Championship in 2009, and you have to go back to April 26th 2008 the last time the Tykes defeated Charlton at Oakwell. A 3-0 victory that day secured Simon Davey's Barnsley side another season in the Championship after Jamal Campbell-Ryce opened the scoring against his former club and defender Lewin Nyatanga and striker Jon Macken added further goals later on in a day where Jonjo Shelvey, now of Liverpool, made his debut at the age of 16 and with it became the youngest player to ever feature for their first team.