It may be a cliche, but the derby games always attracts the eyes of the fans when the fixtures are published. Both sets of fans would have been delighted to see this game played so early on in the season. After three years without meeting, and two weeks without a fixture for either side, Chartlon and Palace will be raring to go in this huge South London clash. With an expected crowd of 22,000, an expected full debut for Ricardo Fuller and the added factor of Sky Sports the Friday night lights, the atmosphere will no doubt live up to expectation. It’s not all about bragging rights though. Both teams have started their seasons indifferently, Palace only collecting three points and Charlton putting in a worrying performance last time out against Nottingham Forest. A win for either side could kick them on to greater things.
Charlton Team News
There’s only one place start, and that’s the small matter of Ricardo Fuller. An impressive 15 minutes off the bench at Forest has already won the fans over and there’s a general felling the Jamaican will be making his first start in an Addicks’ shirt tomorrow. The former Palace man, who this week signaled his intentions to ‘wear his heart on his sleeve’ if selected, will line up with either Yann Kermorgant or Bradley Wright-Phillips, with the former likely to be the man who gets the nod. Dale Stephens is more than likely going to reenter the fold after missing the Forest game after speculation linking him with a move to Aston Villa. This will see youngster Jordan Cook resume duties on the bench. Scott Wagstaff is back after injury and will fight for a place on the right with Bradley Pirtchard and Danny Green. Leon Cort and Danny Haynes join Wagstaff in resuming full training, but Taylor, Hughes and Pope remain sidelined. Rhoys Wiggins, like Fuller, will be facing his former club and he’ll line up at the back with Morrison, Cort and Solly in front of Ben Hamer.
Away Team News
Former Addick and Palace captain Paddy McCarthy will miss out after being sidelined for month with injury, so Peter Ramage is likely to be joined at the back by powerhouse Johnathan Parr, who has dropped back from midfield. Highly rated youngster Johnathan Williams is back from a thigh injury and is pushing to start, along with deadline day loan signing David Goodwillie. The Eagles main threat will come in terms of pace with wonderkid Wilfred Zaha and former Charlton target Yannick Bolasie expected to play.
Prediction: Charlton 3-0 Palace
I’m confident, and probably overly so, but I really feel Ricardo Fuller will make the difference in this one.