Charlton Athletic v Pompey Preview

By Sam Stone

Sean Raggett’s 95th-minute equaliser on Tuesday night halted Pompey’s three-match losing run and now the Blue’s will be looking to turn a promising display against Plymouth into a vital three points as they take on Charlton Athletic at the Valley on Saturday.

The Blues set up in a wing-back system, with Marlon Romeo and Lee Brown pushing high and allowing Pompey to dominate the ball. This saw Cowley’s men have 62% of the ball and dominate for large periods, especially in the first half.

Despite the possessional dominance, the Blues mustered the same amount of shots as Argyle (Seven each) and managed four fewer shots on target, yet again highlighting the lack of cutting edge that has blighted the blues in the opening months of the season.

However, Tuesday was a good example of how the side has developed from last season. Pompey were able to control the game with Gavin Bazunu playing high and Joe Morrell and Tunnicliffe governing the midfield with quick and effective passing. It is chalk and cheese compared to last season.

This Saturday’s trip to the Valley looks, on paper, an excellent opportunity for three points. The Addicks have had a disappointing start to their campaign, after high pre-season hopes. Home defeats to Wigan and Cheltenham as well as away disappointment to MK Dons, Wycombe and Oxford has seen pressure mount on boss Nigel Adkins.

Charlton are coming off the back of a 1-1 draw away at Gillingham, with Addicks’ fans frustrated with the second-half performance after a strong first-half display. From the outside, looking at their results, the Addicks have struggled to perform for the full 90 minutes; either starting games well and then fading or vice versa.

One time Pompey target Jayden Stockley is Charlton’s top scorer with two goals, however, with 328 minutes per goal, the big-money transfer from Preston hasn’t hit the heights expected from the Charlton faithful.

According to @Experimental361 Charlton are underperforming their expected goals by seven places. So, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see the Addicks turn around their fortunes at some point this season. Despite this, Pompey’s performance on Tuesday night has provided plenty of optimism heading into this weekend’s clash.

If Pompey adopt the same system, they could look to dominate the ball in midfield and defence, with the wing-backs providing a constant outlet. There will be plenty of pressure on the home side to control the game and put in a much-needed positive performance, this could lead to plenty of gaps for Pompey to exploit in this leaky Charlton defence.

Marlon Romeo’s performance on Tuesday provided plenty of positives and if the Millwall man can push forward, as he did on against Argyle, he could well be an excellent and unexpected attacking outlet for Cowley. Along with Romeo, Joe Morrell produced his best display in a Blues shirt, with an efficient midfield display; allowing Pompey to gain a real foothold, especially in the first half.

It would be expected for Cowley to maintain the same system. The Plymouth draw was the best Pompey have looked over the past four matches. Danny Cowley is also expected to have Connor Ogilvie available after a quad issue. The hosts are set to be without Ryan Inniss, Jake Forster-Caskey, and Ronnie Schwartz.

Photo: Below 2020 Media

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