Charlton in focus: A lowdown on Lee Bowyer’s men


Charlton Athletic finished the League One season as best of the rest in third place on 88 points, Brandon Pragnell describes the team Lee Bowyer will call on to propel the Addicks back into the second tier of English football.

With a 4-0 win against Rochdale on the final day of the season, Charlton finished on top of the league’s form table with five wins out of their last six games league games. This included the London side scoring 15 times as they beat Rochdale, Gillingham, Scunthorpe, Luton and Wycombe.
Lee Bowyer’s side have made it to Wembley for only the first time since 1998 after beating Doncaster Rovers on penalties in a thriller at the Valley.
In fact, Charlton faced Sunday’s opponents Sunderland in their last visit to the national stadium in 1998, Clive Mendonca scoring a famous hat-trick for the Addicks as they emerged victorious on penalties and gained promotion to the Premier League.
Team News
Lee Bowyer has a virtually fully-fit squad, the only player doubtful to play a part at Wembley being Belgian-born attacker  Igor Vetokele whose thigh injury meant that he sat out the second leg tie against Doncaster Rovers at the Valley.
The match perhaps takes on an added importance due to many of Charlton players’ contracts expiring this summer. With many key players wanting Championship football, the only way Bowyer may be able to avoid a mass exodus could be promotion on Sunday.
Three players that will play their final match for Charlton are Josh Cullen, Krystian Bielik and Ben Purrington who will all return to their parent clubs following the end of loan spells in south London.
Key Players
1) Lyle Taylor 

PA (C)

Lyle stepped up big time to fill the scoring void of his strike partner Karlan Grant who left for Huddersfield in January. While the Englishman had scored 15 goals before the day Grant left, he has since become instrumental adding another ten goals to his game.
At 6’2″ the Greenwich born’s aerial threat is hard to contain while his pace to get in behind the defenders has really caused havoc considering the striker also got 12 assists to his name this season.

He’s already played an important part in the Addicks’ play-off campaign after scoring and assisting in the first leg when Charlton travelled to the Keepmoat Stadium to defeat Doncaster 2-1.

2) Dillon Phillips 


The Addicks academy graduate has been a rock in the goal for the London based side since getting his space back in the team following Jed Steer’s departure back to his parent club Aston Villa, after the keeper’s loan expired.
Since starting in Charlton’s 2-1 win over Walsall, the 23-year-old has kept 11 clean sheets including three in his final three league matches of the campaign.
The keeper made some vital saves in the two legs when facing Doncaster to ensure that his side will be playing under the Wembley arches for a chance to play Championship football again next season. He was the hero in the penalty shoot-out that booked their place in the final.
3) Josh Cullen 


The on-loan midfielder will be dearly missed if he doesn’t join from the Hammers in the summer as he has been the glue in the centre of the pitch that has held Charlton’s promotion battle in good stead. The Irish youth level player is an all-around centre-midfielder and has proved his worth at the London club.
This season the 23-year-old has played 31 matches out of 55 games that the side from SE7 have played and been instrumental in Charlton’s success.
With his ability to win the ball back and create attacks being one of his best attributes, the midfielder has been able to assist his team-mates in red six times, including once against Doncaster.
All three of Taylor, Phillips and Cullen will all need to perform to their best to defeat a strong Sunderland outfit but with such good form going into the tie, Addicks fans will be confident of seeing Championship football at the Valley next season for the first time since 2016.

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