Cardiff vs Charlton (Match Preview)
It was a 3-0 beating dished out by Charlton Athletic just a few short weeks ago that prompted an emergency board meeting to discuss the future of Cardiff City manager Dave Jones.
Since that defeat, Cardiff have improved. A home win against Ipswich Town, followed by away draws against Leiceter City and Hull City have seen more energy and bite to the side. The two goals conceeded in that time were defensive lapses, while the midfield has been creating more and the attacking partnership of MacLean and Thompson looked the most potent we have tried this season.
However, since the win over us, Charlton beat Preston before slumping to successive defeats - conceeding 3 goals on each occasion. The away form is good for the Addicks (winning 3 consecutively on their travels) while it is their home form that is causing concern.
Either way, Charlton Athletic have soon Premiership quality players and will be a test to any Championship side. They have lost the last two but remain in 4th place and within touching distance of Watford and West Brom in the automatic promotion spots.
In Chris Iwelumo (who netted twice against City), they have the Championship player of the month for November while Andy Reid is a real danger on the Charlton left - Chris Gunter will need to be on top form to stifle that threat.
Cardiff have improved recently, but need to start winning games if they are to move up the table. The performance against Hull was much more slick than previously and they must keep the same tempo and determination. Charlton need to halt their slide and will be looking for the three points to lift them clear of the chasing pack.
There are all manner of off-field problems and uncertainties while our home form is unpredictable - Vital Cardiff is calling, in all optimism, for a 2-1 win for the Bluebirds!