Charlton Athletic welcome fellow Londoner's Queens Park Rangers to the Valley on Saturday, as the Addicks look to further distance themselves from the bottom three and an immediate return to League One.
Lee Bowyer’s men sit one point and three places above Hull City, who they beat last week, in the final relegation spot and while the headlines at the Valley have been more about issues off the pitch, with them having had triple the number of owners you’re supposed to have in a season, recording their first back to back wins since August will help their bid for Championship survival.
Meanwhile, QPR have had a mixed season, to put it lightly, swashbuckling wins have been cancelled out by disappointing losses leaving the R’s 13th in the table, seven points off the playoffs and nine off the bottom three.
Where and When
The match will be held at the Valley on Saturday 27th June, kicking off at 12:30pm.
Saturday will be the 70th competitive meeting between the two teams, with Charlton just edging the overall wins column by 24 to QPR’s 23. The other 22 meetings between the sides have ended in a draw, as was the case at Loftus Road back in December, when a 96th minute Naby Sarr equaliser for Charlton meant the game finished 2-2.
Before that you have to go back to the 2015-16 season for their last meeting, when Charlie Austin had just left the R’s for Southampton, god I miss him, and Charlton’s team contained Nick Pope and Ademola Lookman.
The Hoops haven’t won in this corner of South- East London since October 2007.
Charlton come into the clash in SE7 with no new injury concerns and will be boosted by the returns of Andre Green, Jake Forster- Caskey (who both missed last week through injury) and George Lapslie (who missed the trip North due to the birth of his child).
The hosts will be without Lewis Page and Matt Smith, who spent the first half of the season on loan at QPR, as well as the trio of Chris Solly, David Davis and top scorer Lyle Taylor who have all decided they don’t fancy another month of Championship football this season and are happy to run down their contracts.
The R’s also have been hit by the Coronavirus pandemic, having to release both captain Grant Hall and midfielder Marc Pugh due to financial constraints.
However, they will be boosted by the return of the world’s toughest American Geoff Cameron who was suspended for Barnsley’s visit last week.
(W) 1-0 v Hull
(L) 1-0 v Middlesbrough
(L) 4-0 v Huddersfield
(L) 1-0 v Sheffield Wednesday
(W) 3-1 v Luton
One scrappy header from Jason Pearce at Hull last week, may just be the difference between Charlton playing in the second or third tier next season.
Before the Addick's skipper bundled home, in the 18th minute at the KCOM, Charlton had restarted the campaign languishing in the bottom three, but now find themselves in a much healthier 19th place, although they are still just one point from the drop zone. A big reason for their position at the time of the coronavirus stoppage, was their form before it, losing massive games to relegation rivals Huddersfield and Middlesbrough and only winning at home to bottom side Luton.
(L) 1-0 v Barnsley
(W) 3-1 v Preston
(D) 2-2 v Birmingham
(W) 2-1 v Derby
(D) 0-0 v Nottingham Forest
A lot has changed in the last three months, but QPR’s inability to beat the sides at the bottom of the league table is not one of them. Lowly Barnsley’s 1-0 win at Loftus Road last week means the Tykes have done the double over Rangers this season, and another loss to a relegation-threatened opponent this week could completely kill any chance QPR has of squeaking into the play-offs. It's a shame too, as before the stoppage the R’s had the second-best form in the league, after Leeds, which included impressive wins over play-off hopefuls Preston and Derby, as well as a respectable 0-0 draw with fifth-placed Nottingham Forest.
As noted before QPR’s history against the bottom sides, coupled with the boost given from Charlton’s win at Hull does provide the ingredients for Rangers to slip up on Saturday. However, I have decided against my better judgment to go with my heart and not my head, reasoning that the combined talents of Eze and Osayi- Samuel will be too much for Charlton’s defence. So, with that, I’m going for a QPR win, just.
Match Preview written by Jamie Perry.