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Charlton Athletic vs Cambridge United | Saturday 20th August 2022 @ 3pm | Match Preview

Charlton Athletic vs Cambridge United
Saturday 20th August 2022 - 3pm Kick-Off
Referee: Carl Brook

Saturdays result at Sheffield Wednesday was far from ideal, having dominated for large periods it was disappointing to come away from Hillsborough with our tail between our legs and no points - However it presented an early scenario for fans: "How would Ben Garner react to defeat" - Thankfully we wouldn't have to wait long, Plymouth visited the Valley on Tuesday night, and full of confidence themselves having beaten Peterborough themselves at the weekend. What we witnessed was one of the best Charlton displays in recent memory.

Now we play host to Cambridge United, momentum is with us, now isnt the time to ease up!!

The Opposition
Name: Cambridge United (13th) | Manager: Mark Bonner
Ground: Abbey Stadium
Previous Result: Portsmouth 4-1 Cambridge United

The Manager on Charlton: "I think it’s inspiring, exciting and challenging for us to try and show that we can compete on a level with these clubs - We had a brilliant performance at Charlton and an excellent result at Portsmouth last year, so we know we can compete - I know it’s a week to look forward to, and certainly not be frightened of."

To be fair when a side gets promoted from the Division below, they're nearly always regarded as relegation favourites. Perhaps due to the small gap still between League One and League Two, that doesnt happen as often yet - Cambridge on the other hand, returned to this level last yea, and then promptly lost their top goal scorer to the Hollywood project in the National League... Not ideal - Yet Cambridge with Mark Bonner in charge potentially have one of the best young Managers in the EFL. Ultimately the "U's" would end just a place behind the Addicks, and despite being one of four sides that we did the double over, looked a constant threat in both games.

So fast forward to the new campaign and perhaps this season will be the one where Cambridge will struggle - Well the 4-1 defeat at Portsmouth on Tuesday night is perhaps the first sign, but our opponents already have two wins this season (coming against Milton Keynes and Exeter), whilst recording a enviable win over Millwall in the League Cup... We must ask them how they did that!!

Once again, the majority of fans will no doubt look on the surface of the fixture this weekend, and will expect nothing less than a win - They'll see a side that have spent large periods of their recent history in the National League, and League Two - Mark Bonner and his side feel to me like a team you want to underestimate at your peril... As Albie Morgan said in a recent interview, there are no easy games at this level

Team News
Well I hope Ben Garner has been hitting the paracetamol hard since Tuesday night as he must have one almighty headache ahead of this Saturdays fixture - The wide players such as Charlie Kirk and Corey Blackett-Taylor have impressed with regular starting berths this season, yet new man Jes Rak-Sayki has burst on to the scene having joined from our neighbours in Surrey... All three will want to start, but only two can!!

Elsewhere and you'd expect Ben to stick with stability amongst the team -  Those who are playing as cover (e.g. Sam Lavelle) are equally playing well when called upon, so perhaps deserve a starting place, but its impossible to play everyone when there are only eleven places to begin with - Lavelle may well come into the team at Right-Back though, what with Sean Clare's early departure from the game on Saturday.

As for Albie Morgan... Well he'll probably be playing as sweeper this weekend, with Garner pulling faces at our oppositions bewilderment

Clare - Inniss - O'Connell - Sessegnon
Morgan - Dobson - Fraser
Rak-Sakyi - Stockley - Blackett-Taylor

Substitutes Bench: Harness - Lavelle - Clayden - McGrandles - Payne - Jaiyesimi - Leaburn

*I haven't forgotten Charlie Kirk in the line-up, just predict he may be given a rest after starting the last two games

Underestimate Cambridge at our peril is once again my opening statement here

However, should we have aspirations of Championship Football next season (even if that included failure in lottery of the Play-Offs), then we have to be winning the majority of these games... Trips to Sheffield Wednesday in an ideal world wont result in too many defeats, but we certainly cant afford to lose at the Valley - In comparison the top six last term at worst ended up with roughly 14-draws and 10-defeats, we've already used up one of each!!


  • Mods could you change the Subject for me please... Didnt get given the option again

    Full article for anyone wanting to read Bonner's comments on the upcoming game this Saturday... I only cherry picked quotes.
  • Great preview as always.

    1-0 Charlton. Hoping we can get an early goal to take some of the nervousness out of the crowd.
  • Need to win games like this at home. 
  • Losing 4-1 to Portsmouth in the week might mean they set up defensively. Need to win this one though to really stamp home we mean business this season. 
  • Play the same team if injuries permit, would be criminal to make changes after Tuesdays display.

    8-0 and the Cambridge boss asks Ben in the second half if we can take a couple of players off to even things up.
  • Really looking forward to this. Taking the kids and hoping they get a truly unrealistic view of what it means to watch Charlton and we spank Cambridge 4 nil. 

  • I expect no easy games this season.

    Cambs have been inconsistent so far, BUT, as already said they have beaten a strong Millwall in the EFL Cup, albeit the Spanners had a man sent off after an hour 

    Expectations will be very high after the midweek dismissal of the Pilgrims. Our squad now looks to be both consistent and confident. Another win will keep that situation buoyant, and that is what I expect.
    Unchanged, almost, Payne for Fraser 

    CAFC 3 v Cambridge United 1
  • 6 - 0 win in front of a sell out crowd 
  • Always enjoy reading the previews after a win.

    Got to try and show something we’ve not shown in a long time and that is stringing back to back dominant performances and wins. Can we keep up the momentum.

    I think Sessegnon and Innis will likely come back in (even though I’d be happy with Lavelle). It’s just who of the attacking wingers will start. I wouldn’t be shocked if there’s no changes, which is crazy thinking about how good CBT has been for us. But feels like it’s his position to get back, plus having him come on at tiring full backs is quiet exciting.

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  • We’ve definitely shown we have something to build on and we must do that. Confidence breeds confidence and wins breed wins. Not expecting another goal fest but am expecting another win. 2 - 1 Addicks.
  • Does anybody have any inside info about which trains may be running on Saturday?
  • Really looking forward to this one after Tuesday so no doubt it will be a massive disappointment.
  • Must win game is a bit OTT. However I would prefer we do and I think it'll be 2-0. 
  • There may be some rotation from Tuesday, as we have the EFL Cup on Tuesday so lots of games to play. The interesting one is whether he  starts one of Payne or McGrandles in place of Fraser.
  • Southbank said:
    Does anybody have any inside info about which trains may be running on Saturday?
    The NR website does currently have trains running from London Bridge to Charlton via Greenwich, leaving at 14:08, 14:23 and 14:38

    After the game, return trains go at 16:45 (too early), 17:10 and 17:21.
  • Wollacott
    Clare - Lavelle - O'Connell - Sessegnon
    Morgan - Dobson - Payne
    Rak-Sakyi - Stockley - Kirk

    Substitutes Bench: McG - Inniss - Clayden - McGrandles - Fraser - Blackett-Taylor - Leaburn 

    3-1 win Stockley, JRS and Payne

    on a roll…
  • There may be some rotation from Tuesday, as we have the EFL Cup on Tuesday so lots of games to play. The interesting one is whether he  starts one of Payne or McGrandles in place of Fraser.  
    Start McGrandles or Fraser, bring Payne on around the hour mark to tear them apart.
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  • Lavelle would be awful at right back and also doesn't fit Garner's mantra. I'd say you're more likely to see DJ there.
  • I think if Clare is struggling then Sess will play there and Clayden continues at left back. We have Walsall in the cup on Tuesday so players can be rested then. 
  • Play CBT at left back and Sess Right and that way both JRS and Kirk and keep their places too 
  • Don't know what's happened to @happyvalley but I'll substitute for him 4-0.

  • I’ve just put us in my accumulator for the weekend so we won’t be winning this. Sorry all.
  • Second half of our two game home "stretch".

    I said before the Sheffield game that these two games would be a big indicator of how well do this season.

    The red card perhaps made the score line more flattering but Tuesday was a commanding performance even before the dismissal.

    Now we have to maintain that form.

    I suspect Cambridge will have seen the joy JRS and Kirk had running in behind and so not push their full backs so far up the pitch.

    Will we be able to break down a dogged deep defence?

    I think yes.  2 - 0 Charlton with Sessegnon and Innis back.
  • Going with 4-2 stockley double
  • I think we'll win this 2-1 but they do have some very decent players, a few worth keeping an eye on.

    Harvey Knibbs, Shilow Tracey and Sam Smith. 
  • Anyone know why I can’t see a match pass on Charlton tv for this? I’m in Spain currently and previously it would show for me. Do I need to change settings? 
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