Saturday 4th February 2012 – Kickoff: 1500hrs
Charlton Athletic will be looking to extend their unbeaten run in League One to six matches when they entertain lowly Rochdale at The Valley on Saturday afternoon.
This recent run of form has seen them record wins over Brentford, Sheffield Wednesday, Sheffield United and Exeter City along with a draw against Bury as the London club are currently ten points clear of second placed Huddersfield Town and promotion up to the Championship is theirs to lose.
The Addicks’ home record stands at 8-5-0 28/9 and they remain unbeaten on home soil. Their defensive record is second to none in this division too which has helped lift them to their current position; they’ve also kept six clean sheets, most notably against Sheffield United, Huddersfield, Carlisle United and Bournemouth.
Leading scorer Bradley Wright-Phillips (12 goals, 7 assists) was rested for the Bury match but even if he is rested again for this match Charlton possess plenty of firepower; midfielder Johnnie Jackson (9 goals, 5 assists), forward Yann Kermorgant (7 goals), midfielders Danny Hollands (6 goals, 4 assists) and Dale Stephens (4 goals) along with new signing striker Leon Clarke signed from Chesterfield.
Sorry Rochdale go into this match on the back of a rare 3-0 win over Bury which halted a run of nine matches without a win but this was at home against a Bury side who have won just once on the road in their last five.
Dale’s away form stands at 2-3-9 10/27, with only Wycombe Wanderers (30 goals) and Chesterfield (31 goals) conceding more on their travels. No wins in their last five away from home though could spell trouble for the relegation-threatened Rochdale.
Forward Ashley Grimes (7 goals, 2 assists) is their danger man along with Jean-Louis Akpa-Akpro (3 goals, 1 assist) and midfielder Gary Jones (4 goals) while Nicky Adams has chipped in with 4 assists.
Quite simply though, Charlton have assembled a very strong squad with plenty of depth at their disposal and this should see them through against a poor Rochdale outfit. The Addicks to cover the handicap here comfortably in a 3-1 win.
Pick: Charlton Athletic AH-1 @ 1.70 Pinnacle (get on early as price has dropped from 1.74 already)