Rovers v Charlton Athletic: Make Ewood A Fortress

Rovers will be looking to continue their fine form when they clash with Charlton Athletic on Saturday afternoon. 

A win could see Rovers jump into the automatic promotion places and would see them move away from another promotion rival. Which they did so convincingly last weekend at Peterborough.

Mowbray’s men battled challenging conditions last Wednesday night on a pitch barely suitable for football. It may have left the manager with a couple of injuries for this weekend’s game which is a huge frustration.

It was great to see Rovers progress to the FA Cup third round last Wednesday and more impressed to see Danny Graham back on the scoresheet.

Crewe have been a problem that hasn’t gone away for Rovers. First, the way they came back to force a replay, to then having the initial tie called off to then getting it played on less than suitable conditions twenty-four hours later.

Rovers did what they had to do. It wasn’t pretty by any stretch but the club are through and with a winnable tie against higher opponents which will be exciting to look forward to.

Saturday’s opponents come in the form of The Addicks. Charlton, much like Rovers, have been through somewhat of a demise. Falling from Premier League heights to the Football League’s third tier.

There has been a revival of sorts of The Valley this season. A change in manager and player regime. Karl Robinson is now at the helm and with that comes a sense of stability. His work with MK Dons is not to be dismissed especially with how he did in League One.

Charlton, after some early season form, have dwindled and are fairly inconsistent in terms of their results of late. Throwing away late goals has been their bug bare and is something they’re looking to cut out.

Two wins in their last eight, in all competitions, means the Addicks have dropped to sixth position in the table. Still inside the play-offs but they’ll have bigger ambitions than settling for a place in the end of season shake-up.

Losing at home 0-1 to Portsmouth on the club’s 25th anniversary of returning to their home ground, The Valley, was a huge disappointment for everyone at the club, especially considering Portsmouth had missed a penalty as well. Given that, that was their last game, they’ll be out for blood when they arrive at Ewood.

Head-to-head games with Charlton have been on the whole extremely entertaining. Plenty of goals, thrills, spills, drama and ultimately points.

Rovers have a good recent record over their London counterparts, having not lost in the last couple of years. You would have to go back to 2013 to find the last Charlton win over Rovers. It came at Ewood Park in a 0-1 defeat.

The last meeting between the two clubs was in Charlton’s relegation season from the Championship down to League One. The game was thoroughly uneventful as Paul Lambert’s Rovers drew 1-1 with lowly Charlton.

This game will have a very different feel to it. Two sides hoping to be at the top end of the table come May. Two squads that are very capable of doing that very thing.

Charlton will be a threat on the break – although they will be missing the in-form Fosu-Henry. The attacking midfielder is bang in form with seven goals in fifteen league appearances already. The likes of Ricky Holmes and Mark Marshall will still cause Rovers problems.

Rovers can rival that. The form of Bradley Dack is scary at times. The high press, his skill on the ball and his finish. All qualities that Tony Mowbray has been able to bring out of him. Finding his position has taken time.

Ultimately, he is in form and with a Samuel, a Graham or a Nuttall to compliment. The balance has been superb to see. He’s turning in to Rovers’ main man and the fans are responding.

Another big afternoon awaits at Ewood Park asRovers are showing their worth. If it continues, losses are going to be a forgotten thing.

Enjoy the game.


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