Chris Powell's Flat Cap

Home » Charlton Athletic Match Previews » Preview: Charlton Athletic V Huddersfield Town

Preview: Charlton Athletic V Huddersfield Town

The emotion involved may not quite emulate that of his first return, but there will again be attention on the man who will stand in the visiting dugout at a ground where his image occupies the walls.

For while Chris Powell will not receive the third minute applause he deserved when he came back to The Valley with Huddersfield in February, he will still be given a strong reception from those who supported him both while he wore red as player and donned his flat cap as Charlton boss.

Powell, of course, a Valley legend. The statistics showing 267 appearances, a League One title and an unlikely ninth place finish in the Championship. The memory bank holding countless incredible moments instigated by or involving the Nicest Man in Football™.

But so too will there be attention on the Terriers boss for less positive reasons. He may have nothing to prove to those of a Charlton persuasion, but he has a lot of Huddersfield supporters to prove wrong.

Without a win so far this season, there is a certain amount of pressure of the 46-year-old. In truth, some of the blame is directed towards those above Powell, with Conor Coady, Alex Smithies and Jacob Butterfield sold by owner Dean Hoyle, but there is understandably anger that the manager has been unable to win points with the resources that remain.

As such, Powell is in desperate need of a win. A scenario that will make Charlton supporters wary, given how often incredible victories were achieved during his time in charge at The Valley in similar circumstances.

That, however, is not to say there will be any mixed feelings. Having frustratingly drawn with Rotherham on Saturday, the Addicks are desperate to get back to winning ways and avoid what was an excellent start to the season becoming an indifferent one.

8

LAST MEETING – CHARLTON ATHLETIC 3-0 HUDDERSFIELD TOWN

With a performance that was among the best of last season, the Addicks made Powell’s first return to SE7 a miserable one.

For Charlton, at the peak of their powers under the run of seven wins in nine instigated by Guy Luzon, decimated his Huddersfield side with a superb display of counter-attacking football.

The three goals scored all stunning. Johann Berg Gudmundsson giving the hosts the lead with a signature dead ball strike, over the wall and beyond the reach of Smithies.

Tony Watt, rounding off a brilliant passing move, doubled Charlton’s lead just after half-time, but the best of the bunch was saved until last. A stunning solo goal from the Scot, jinking forward and lashing beyond Smithies, confirming three points for Luzon’s side.

And while there was unquestionable joy in the victory, the day was only made better by the incredible reception Powell received both as he walked down the touchline before kick-off and headed for the tunnel at full-time.

4

FORM

Huddersfield: LLDDDL

Supporters of the Terriers are not unrealistic. They do not demand that their club, average in size and restricted by a transfer policy that sees profit as a greater sign of success than on-the-pitch progression, competes for a place in the top six.

But they do expect, if not each week then most, for their club to compete in the Championship. Huddersfield, after all, are now a regular fixture in the second tier.

So it is with justifiable frustration that the disappointing start to the season has been met. Winnable games at home ending in stalemate, and the determination required to match stronger sides absent.

Even in a game they deserved, and looked likely, to win against Fulham, an unfortunate final minute goal cost them two points. Some would argue that’s a sign of bad luck, others would suggest the sort of thing that happens to a side that aren’t creating ‘luck’ of their own.

And so too is it understandable that supporters have questioned owner Hoyle and manager Powell. More football focused investment demanded from Hoyle, and greater freedom wanted in the way Powell gets his side to play.

The club, in general, seemingly in a tentative stage of stagnation. Fearing regression, but certainly not progressing.

653443

Charlton: DLWWDD

While eight points from four games was an outstanding start to the season, the Addicks only adding one point in the next two does not make it a disappointing one.

In fact, Luzon and his side have still enjoyed a start to the campaign that was arguably better than expected. Unlikely wins against QPR and Hull, complimented by determined draws with Derby County and Nottingham Forest.

But that does not take anything away from the frustration of the previous two results. The defeat at Wolves completely avoidable, and the indecisiveness in attack preventing victory over Rotherham.

As such, while there is no desperate requirement for Charlton to get back to winning ways on Tuesday, a victory is needed to maintain a feeling that the start to the campaign has been an excellent one.

17

THE OPPOSITION

Former Charlton defender Mark Hudson is a doubt for Huddersfield, having missed Saturday’s defeat against Cardiff, another of his former clubs, with an ankle injury.

Should he remain absent, then new loan signing Elliott Ward and Joel Lynch will continue in the centre of defence.

There are also concerns about the fitness of Jonathon Hogg, meaning Powell could hand a first start to Emyr Huws after the Welsh midfielder made his debut from the bench on Saturday.

Huws, signed on loan from Wigan Athletic, impressed at The Valley both for the Latics and Birmingham in 2014, and could help to fill the rather large void left by the departed Butterfield.

13

THE ADDICKS

New signing Conor McAleny could make his debut for the Addicks, after joining on loan from Everton on Monday.

The 23-year-old forward, able to play up top or out wide, could come in on the left and allow Jordan Cousins to move back to his more favoured central role, but is more likely to be on the bench.

But someone who looks set to start is Simon Makienok, having begun the draw with Rotherham on the bench.

The 6’7 forward, who provided the assist for Patrick Bauer’s equaliser and constantly troubled the visitors’ back four after coming on with half an hour to play, should be fit enough to start, and will replace the infective Igor Vetokele if he is.

Meanwhile, Stephen Henderson, Cristian Ceballos, Franck Moussa and Reza Ghoochannejhad are still unavailable through injury.

22

KEY BATTLE – CHARLTON’S FORWARDS V THEIR BRAINS

In Tony Watt and Gudmundsson, Charlton have two of the most exciting individuals in the league. Single-handedly capable of winning games, with their incredible ability to beat opposition players and create openings.

But on Saturday, it was their indecisiveness that contributed towards their side’s failure to beat bottom of the table Rotherham.

On countless occasions, the Addicks got into promising positions, only to waste their opening with a poorly executed delivery or dubious decision.

And with Huddersfield’s defence, not as leaky as Rotherham’s but lacking a certain amount of quality, one that can be exploited, Charlton are again likely to find themselves in plenty of promising positions again on Tuesday.

The task for Luzon’s forwards, therefore, is to find the cutting edge that was not only lacking against the Millers, but also in the defeat to Wolves. Charlton too tentative on both occasions in attacking positions.

5

PREDICTION

Sorry, Chrissy P. Charlton Athletic 2-1 Huddersfield Town

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