Charlton Athletic will be looking to extend their recent good form on their travels when they take on Queens Park Rangers at Loftus Road this Saturday.
The last time these two sides met at Loftus Road, Phil Parkinson saw his Charlton managerial debut in November 2008 end in a 2-1 defeat as QPR manager Paulo Souza picked up his first three points in his new role.
It was a season that would end in disappointment for both clubs with the Addicks dropping to League One and QPR’s big spending failing to propel them into the Premier League.
Parkinson was also in charge of the 2-2 draw at The Valley later on in the 2008/09 season; a fourth game without a win for Charlton over their London rivals.
Although a lot has changed since those last meetings five years ago, with managerial changes, a promotion and a relegation occurring at both clubs, the odds are against the Addicks ending their run of poor form against the Rs, who are yet to lose at home this season.
But Charlton go into the game on the back of two highly impressive away performances at Blackburn Rovers and Birmingham City, not to mention credible displays at The Valley in recent weeks that haven’t always produced the deserved results, whilst QPR have claimed just one win in their last five games.
Chris Powell’s chances of masterminding a victory will be boosted if he can call upon previously unfit trio Chris Solly, Richard Wood and Yann Kermorgant.
The French forward is the most likely of the three to have recovered fully from injury after returning from the bench in the 4-2 defeat to Leeds United a fortnight ago, and he’ll be pushing to start alongside the inform Simon Church.
But given how successful the 4-5-1 formation was in the 1-0 victory over Birmingham at St Andrews, Kermorgant may have to settle for a place on the bench once again if Powell opts to pack the midfield, especially with QPR’s set to feature Joey Barton and Jermaine Jenas.
Despite injury to talismanic midfielder Alejandro Faurlin, QPR’s squad remains arguably the strongest in terms of both quality and depth in the division.
From the likely starting XI, Charlie Austin, who has five goals against the Addicks in his career, stands out as QPR’s main threat.
Should things not be working for the Rs, Harry Redknapp, who will be hoping to mark the celebration of his 30 year managerial career with a win, will have a wealth of experienced options available to him from the bench. Andy Johnson, Nedum Onuoha and Niko Kranjcar were all in reserve in the 1-1 draw with Reading two weeks ago.
The trip to QPR will be one of the tougher tests for the Addicks this season but, backed by what will be a large and vocal away following, signs are there to suggest that a Charlton victory, or at least a point for Powell’s side, is not completely in the realms of fantasy.