Outcome of Charlton and Middlesbrough’s seasons could be shaped at The Valley


It is safe to say Charlton and Middlesbrough’s fixture this weekend is a relegation six-pointer.

The Addicks, after what had been such a promising start to the season, have only picked up 17 points from their last 22 games which has seen them slide down to 20th in the Championship. They have gone from threatening the top six, to being threatened by an instant return to the third tier of English Football.

Middlesbrough on the other hand have had a terrible 11 months, let alone a terrible campaign. It was only a year ago that Boro were heading for the Play-Offs, but a poor end to last season meant they narrowly missed out.

It seems that their awful form in the back end of last season has spilled over with them this campaign. Their supporters’ dreams of Premier League football have turned into fear of playing in League One next season, something boss Jonathan Woodgate would want to avoid in his first season in charge.

Woodgate and Charlton boss, Lee Bowyer were teammates at both Leeds and Newcastle, but when they face off this Saturday, they will have to put friendships aside in order for their main objective, survival.

The away side picked up a valuble point on Monday against Nottingham Forest, while Charlton were humiliated 4-0 by fellow Championship strugglers Huddersfield. The South East Londoners know if they are to to stay up, they cannot put in a display like they did in West Yorkshire.

A win for Charlton would move them four points clear of Middlesbrough, while all three points for Middlesbrough would see them leapfrog Charlton and would see them move out of the bottom three.

George Saville’s first minute goal secured a 1-0 victory for Boro at the Riverside when these two last met back in December.

Team news

For Charlton – Jonathan Lekois out with an ACL injury and Lewis Page is also out with a hamstring injury.

For Middlesbrough – George Friend, Daniel Ayala, Dael fry and Patrick Roberts are all unfit. Meanwhile Anferne Dijksteel is a doubt.

Lee Bowyer on his former North-East rivals

“They played well [against Forest]. They were the better side for a large period of that game. They were unlucky not to get the win.

“They have got players who have played in the Premier League and a good squad with good youngsters coming through with good quality.

“They are a hard-working side and experienced. They were seventh last season. They are no mugs. They are a proper Championship side. Last season, under Tony Pulis, they were pushing for the Premier League.”

Jonathan Woodgate has praised his teammates

“They started off really well this season but they had 15 players out at one point. Lee (Bowyer) has been really unlucky with injuries.

“Whet Lee did last season was really fantastic and he won promotion. I don’t think they expecte dto get promoted but they had some good players there and did well.

“They haven’t got a big budget but they have battled hard. And they had one of their main striker injured for a long time in Lyle Taylor, who is a fantastic player.”

Head to Head

Charlton wins – 36

Draws – 25

Middlesbrough wins – 44



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