An emotional day at the Park last Saturday gave way to an impressive 1-0 win over fancied MK Dons, with Jay Stansfield coming on in the latter stages to a rousing ovation. City head to the capital this week to take on another side predicted to do well but as yet has had a relatively slow start. Matt Taylor will have been alarmed to be down to the bare bones in defence last week, with Sam Stubbs and Alex Hartridge missing, but he is confident one or both will be available for selection on Saturday. On the other hand, Tim Dieng limped out and is set to miss a few games, skipper Matt Jay is poised to return to the starting line-up in his place while Stansfield will be hoping to get a start before long.
Charlton decided to change things in the summer, appointing Ben Garner as their new manager after an impressive season in charge at Swindon. Garner was busy in pre-season, raiding his former employers for three players including Jojo Wollacott and Jack Payne, while the likes of Conor McGrandles were also snapped up – players leaving included Conor Washington, Ben Purrington and Chris Gunter. Results have been somewhat up and down so far, the biggest high certainly the 5-1 thrashing of the Cornish mob while their two defeats have been away to two of the promotion favourites in Sheffield Wednesday and Bolton. Cup matches have also been a positive for the Addicks, who find themselves in the third round of the EFL Cup. The player to watch so far has been Crystal Palace loanee Jesurun Rak-Sakyi, who has already earned favourite status amongst the Charlton support for some eye-catching displays, while one player in particular hoping to impress will be Jayden Stockley making his first appearance against City since he left for Preston.
The sides last met in the EFL Cup in 2017-18, Charlton coming from behind to win 2-1 at the Park. The last time the sides were in the same division was the 2011-12 season, one of major contrasts as Charlton notched 101 points to storm to the title while City were relegated. As expected therefore, Charlton took all six points from this fixture. The corresponding match finished 2-0 – City’s task was made difficult early on when Daniel Nardiello was sent off for abusing the linesman after he had (according to pictures incorrectly) ruled that a City shot hadn’t crossed the line. Goals from Bradley Wright-Phillips and Dale Stephens sealed the points. Danny Green notched the only goal in the return at the Park. Those wins mean Charlton lead the league head-to-head 13-10, with five matches finishing level.