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Charlton Athletic (A) match preview

16 May 2019

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Rovers head to the capital on Friday night to face Charlton Athletic in the second leg of the Sky Bet League One play-off semi-final.

Rovers will be looking to overturn a 2-1 deficit when the two sides meet at The Valley, with goals from Lyle Taylor and Joe Aribo putting them ahead.

Matty Blair’s late goal towards the end of the first leg at the Keepmoat Stadium though has given Rovers hope that they can still make the final under the Wembley arch on Sunday May 26.

Brief history of Charlton Athletic

Charlton play at the 27,111-capacity The Valley stadium in south-east London, which has been their home since 1919, barring a seven-year spell away from Greenwich between 1985 and 1992 and their nickname is the Addicks.

This season is the Addicks third successive season in League One, following their relegation from the Championship in 2016. The Addicks have title-winning history in this division, having last won the League One title in 2012, storming to the top with 101 points.

Last season saw the Addicks finish sixth in League One, qualifying them for the play-offs. They met Shrewsbury Town in the play-off semi-finals, however it would be the Shrews who would progress 2-0 on aggregate.

Charlton finished third in League One this season following a brilliant end to the season which saw them pick up 25 points from their final 10 games, beating Portsmouth to third on goal difference with both sides picking up 88 points.

Who’s the gaffer?

Lee Bowyer is the man at the helm at The Valley, taking permanent charge this season following a temporary spell in the dugout towards the end of the last campaign. The former Leeds United, Newcastle United and Birmingham City midfielder is in his first managerial role with the Addicks, and he helped guide them into the play-offs whilst in caretaker charge last term.

So far, Bowyer has overseen 66 games in charge of the Addicks, winning 35 of those, whilst drawing 13 and losing 18, leaving him with a total win percentage of 53.03 per cent.

Ones to watch

Lyle Taylor

The Montserrat international grabbed the opening goal when the two sides met at the Keepmoat Stadium last weekend in the first leg. Taylor has play-off pedigree, having scored the opener in a 2-0 win for AFC Wimbledon over Plymouth Argyle in the 2016 League Two play-off final at Wembley Stadium, and he will be looking to lead his current club back under the arch for next weekend’s League One showdown. Taylor joined the Addicks from the Dons ahead of the start of this season, and he has gone on to score 25 goals in all competitions in his first season at The Valley. His stunning form also helped him to win the Addicks’ Player of the Year, capping off a brilliant campaign for the former Sheffield United and Scunthorpe United man.

Joe Aribo

The 22-year-old was signed by the Addicks back in 2015 following an impressive spell with non-league side Staines Town. Aribo made his Charlton debut back in October 2016 in the Checkatrade Trophy against Crawley Town, scoring his first goal in the same competition a year later against Fulham U21s. This season has seen Aribo go from strength to strength, scoring 10 goals in 37 games for the Addicks, including the second goal in Sunday’s 2-1 win over Rovers in the first leg, and it is his goal which is the difference between the two sides heading in to Friday’s showdown at The Valley.

Dillon Phillips

The stopper is a product of the Addicks’ youth academy and he has cemented his position as the first-team number one this term. Phillips signed professional terms at The Valley in 2013, before joining non-league side Whitehawk on loan in November that year. After a brief stint with Bishop’s Stortford, Phillips then joined Cheltenham Town on loan, helping the Robins to the National League title in 2016, making 37 appearances and keeping 16 clean sheets in the process. This current campaign has seen Phillips make 33 appearances between the sticks for the Addicks, the most in a season for them whilst he has been with the club, and he produced a string of crucial saves at the Keepmoat Stadium on Sunday to keep Rovers at bay in the first leg.

Who’s the ref?

Gavin Ward will be the man in the middle when the two sides meet at The Valley on Friday night, and you can read more about him here.

Last time out

Charlton took a 2-1 lead into the second leg thanks to two goals in two minutes from Lyle Taylor and Joe Aribo in the first half, before Matty Blair’s late goal gave Rovers hope heading into Friday’s trip to The Valley.

Rovers were victorious in their last trip to The Valley back in December, with goals from Andy Butler and John Marquis seeing Rovers progress through to the third round of the Emirates FA Cup, a competition they would eventually reach the fifth round of, losing out to Premier League side Crystal Palace at home.

Sign up for the 2019/20 season by purchasing your Silver Membership before the end of Rovers' play-off campaign in order to secure a lower price. Find out more about Silver Memberships by clicking here or buy online by clicking here.


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