Football – England – Championship
11-11-2012 – Kickoff: 1500hrs
This fixture will be my only other pick in this round of the Championship as I anticipate a difficult weekend ahead in terms of tipping in this division; second from bottom club Bristol City take on fellow strugglers Charlton Athletic at Ashton Gate on Sunday afternoon with both teams keen to move away from the relegation zone.
Bristol City have lost their last six matches on the trot in the Championship and have not won since a 2-1 away win at Peterborough United back in mid-September, encompassing some nine matches since. A 0-2 loss at Birmingham City in midweek has all but sealed manager Derek McInnes’ fate and I fear another loss at home to fellow strugglers Charlton would end his tenure at the club.
The Robins’ home record stands at 2-1-4 18/18 and there have been goals galore on displat at The Gate so far this season, and whilst Bristol City have scored 18, they’ve also conceded the same amount which is the highest at home in the Championship. After a bright start to the season where they recorded back-to-back wins against Crystal Palace 4-1 and Cardiff City 4-2, Bristol City’s home form has slumped to just 1 point from the next 15 on offer thanks to a 1-1 draw with Millwall. Defeats to Blackburn Rovers, Leeds United, Burnley and Hull have damaged their record and it now puts their current level of form into perspective.
Striker Sam Baldock (5 goals, 1 assist) is their leading scorer with Albert Adomah (3 goals, 5 assists) in support. Scoring goals appears to be no problem for the hosts, however, keeping clean sheets at home is and they’ve kept just one clean sheet at home in their last eighteen Championship matches!
Visitors Charlton Athletic continue adjusting to life in the Championship and find themselves three places above the relegation zone but they do have a five point buffer over Peterborough United who occupy the last relegation spot currently.
The Addicks had a good win over third placed Cardiff City in midweek winning a nine-goal thriller 5-4. However, manager Chris Powell will be wondering how his side were up 5-2 with just injury time remaining and then conceded two late goals to leave them sweating on full-time. Anyhow, they held on and will take this renewed confidence into the match with Bristol City.
Charlton’s away form has improved in recent weeks with back-to-back wins on the road at Ipswich Town 2-1 and Blackpool 2-0, along with taking points off Leeds United and Wolves. Their away record now stands at a more reasonable 2-3-2 10/9 and you can see the green shoots of recovery starting to show.
Leading scorer is midfielder Johnnie Jackson and he scored a brace against Cardiff, but he has several dangerous attacking players around him; Bradley Pritchard and Salim Kerkar have both contributed 3 assists each while manager Powell has a triumvirate of strikers to choose from with Rob Hulse, Danny Haynes and Bradley Wright-Phillips vying for starting places.
Bristol City’s poor run of form must be having an impact on them and with Charlton’s midweek win over a strong Cardiff City side and improvement on their travels, I’ll back Charlton to get at least a draw here at Ashton Gate. Could be a 1-1 or score-draw as a most likely result.
Pick: Charlton Athletic AH+0.5 @ 1.60 Pinnacle looks good value