From Grant Basey’s broken leg at Bristol Rovers to broken Charlton hearts at Sheffield United, TV appearances over the past five seasons have rarely ended positively for the Addicks.
In fact, in Charlton’s 19 (yes, that many!) TV appearances since the start of the 2009/10 season, eleven defeats have been suffered and only six wins have been picked up, with two of those coming against lower league opposition and another the redundant Play-Off Semi-Final second leg victory over Swindon Town in 2010.
It’s therefore fair to say that the ‘TV curse’ is a little more than just a myth. For whatever reason, the Addicks struggle to perform in front of the cameras.
And with a depleted squad travelling to an in form Fulham on Friday night, Bob Peeters’ side will do well to avoid yet another defeat live on Sky.
Alas, Charlton managed to show a great deal of fight, although not quality, in their somewhat fortune victory over Bolton on Tuesday night.
A similar performance would surely result in a loss, but showing the same amount of determination would give the Addicks some chance of coming away from Craven Cottage with what be a very credible point or three.
LAST MEETING – FULHAM 4-0 CHARLTON ATHLETIC
It’s not often that you’ll have fond memories of a 4-0 cup defeat, but Charlton supporters who were at Craven Cottage in January 2012 still talk passionately about the day 7,000 Addicks stood and sung for 90 minutes.
In fact, the scoreline was a little harsh on the Addicks. The then League One side largely held their own against Premier League opposition, but Clint Dempsey, scorer of three of the four goals, was the quite substantial difference between the two sides.
Nonetheless, regular renditions of ‘the FA Cup, who gives a fuck, we’re Charlton Athletic and we’re going up’ and Dempsey’s hat-trick both play second fiddle to the performance given by Bradley Pritchard. Obviously.
Seemingly only heading in one direction under Penfold’s chief impersonator, caretaker boss Kit Symons has transformed the fortunes of the West London club.
Something of a Craven Cottage legend, there’s genuine joy on the face of Symons after every positive result, and that sort of mood appears to have spread around his squad after tales of unrest under Felix Magath’s bizarre regime. There’s nothing cheesy about Symons’ smile. (Sorry)
Not only has confidence and spirit increased, with a determined resulting in a point being stolen at the death at Rotherham on Tuesday, but previously shunned players have returned to the side; a vast improvement on the inexperienced youngsters Magath was recklessly throwing into the starting XI each week.
Wins over Birmingham, Bolton and, most impressively, Norwich have followed, and with Symons still extraordinarily motivated in his quest to secure the job on a full-time basis, this really isn’t the time to be playing Fulham.
Despite struggling to match their impressive early season displays, Peeters’ side continues to churn out points, if not in the most pleasing of fashions.
Many predicted Saturday’s defeat to Bournemouth would be the start of a poor run for the Addicks, but a dogged display against Bolton on Tuesday night saw the Reds bounce back to winning ways straight away.
And while there remains numerous issues to resolve, not least the lack of pressing in midfield, an inability to hold onto leads without causing several heart attacks and the near absence of the exciting forward play seen in August, Charlton’s ability to find ways to avoid defeat despite playing poorly is commendable.
Fulham will be able to call on Huge Rodallega and Tim Hoogland, who have returned to full training after missing Tuesday’s dramatic 3-3 draw with Rotherham.
Rodallega, who has impressed under Symons with three goals and two assists, is likely to start up top with regular Charlton tormentor Ross McCormack, while Hoogland, scorer of four goals from full-back this season, could come in for Elsad Zverotic.
Also potentially returning to the Cottagers’ starting XI are Costa Rican international Bryan Ruiz and former Addick Scott Parker, who were both rested in midweek.
Parker, who upset Addicks with the manner of his £10m move to Chelsea in 2004, has arguably been the most successful of a long line of Charlton academy graduates, peaking with captaining his country against the Dutch in 2012.
Some may still hold bitter resentment against the 34-year-old, but he’s due a decent reception from the visiting Charlton fans.
An already depleted squad has been dealt a further blow after Yoni Buyens picked up his fifth yellow card of the season against Bolton on Tuesday.
The booking means Buyens, who impressed in midweek after a number of relatively poor performances, is suspended for the trip to Craven Cottage, leaving the Addicks desperately short of numbers.
But with Igor Vetokele, Johann Berg Gudmundsson, Joe Gomez and Simon Church all absent, and Michael Morrison having to act as babysitter on the bench, there is some good news for Peeters.
Chris Solly, who was unavailable for selection in midweek, will return to Charlton’s starting XI, meaning Lawrie Wilson is free to push forward into midfield, allowing Jordan Cousins to replace Buyens in the centre.
KEY BATTLE: FULHAM’S WIDE MEN VS CHARLTON’S FULL-BACKS
Normally the most consistent performers in the side, Charlton’s full-backs have struggled in recent weeks when up against wingers with considerable pace and skill.
Koby Arhur, Marc Pugh and Liam Feeney have all made life extremely difficult for Chris Solly, Rhoys Wiggins and Lawrie Wilson, with inconsistent final deliveries and finishing sparing the Addicks further embarrassment.
In fact, Charlton’s defeat to Bournemouth was largely the result of the threat offered by Pugh and Ritchie, while Bolton’s inability to capitalise on the excellent positions they got into out wide on Tuesday night saw them fail to get a point.
And while Fulham have often set-up with a narrower formation under Symons, with Bryan Ruiz operating ahead of three central midfielders and two forwards, that isn’t to say the Cottagers don’t have players capable of coming out wide and causing a threat down the channels.
The likes of Ruiz and Rodallega won’t be as forgiving as previous opponents if Charlton’s full-backs offer them the opportunity to cross.
A TV game, away at an in form side with the squad absent of several key men. It’s fair to say the stars haven’t aligned in Charlton’s favour.
Getting out of this one alive would be an achievement.
Fulham 2-1 Charlton Athletic