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Charlton preview

Whilst the game doesn't quite have the importance placed upon it that it may have done a couple of weeks ago, it is still nonetheless going to be a big game this afternoon come the end of season standings.

Whilst before both of our respective back to back wins, it was arguably a 'us or them' scenario in terms of relegation, but now, seeing other teams drawn into the relegation battle it perhaps affords Charlton a little extra leeway in terms of being able to gamble on going all out for the win, knowing that a loss would not necessarily be the end of the world as other teams would still be within reach at the bottom - although making us effectively safe from the drop.

Our home has not been too hot of late - but perhaps a lot of that was to do with the pressure of the situation and discontent of the fans, both of which have subsided a little thanks to the wins at Newcastle and Middlesbrough.

Team news is (from BBC Sport):

Manchester City midfielder Dietmar Hamann is doubtful (ankle) and so Ousmane Dabo could step in.
England defender Micah Richards is also likely to be sidelined again with an ankle problem but Stephen Ireland should recover from a virus in time.
Charlton defender Ben Thatcher is set to return from a knee injury.
That would see Hermann Hreidarsson revert to a central role alongside Souleymane Diawara, with Talal El Karkouri most likely to make way.

Man City (from): Isaksson, Onuoha, Dunne, Distin, Ball, Jihai, Barton, Hamann, Ireland, Johnson, Dabo, Vassell, Mpenza, Trabelsi, Samaras, Weaver, Corradi, Sinclair, Miller.

Charlton (from): Carson, Young, Diawara, Hreidarsson, Thatcher, Rommedahl, Holland, Song, Thomas, Zheng Zhi, D Bent, Randolph, Hasselbaink, Bougherra, El Karkouri, M Bent, Ambrose, Faye.

We should hopefully see a more confident approach and intent from City today, although it will not be easy as Charlton now scent a real opportunity to avoid the drop and will be looking at this game very much as a winnable one.

I really do think it could go either way, and we have gone twenty three games without a score draw. There will be goals, and I take us to edge it - just.

Prediction:
City 2 Charlton 1