The Biggest Game Of The Regular Season – TO DATE!

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We have been poor for a month and a half, our position is a bit false as many think we are in a strong play off place. The reality is, IF all the teams around us win their games in hand we would actually be in 9th in League 1, only 4 points above Bristol Rovers who would be 10th. We dropped out of the play offs briefly a week ago in McCall’s last game in charge as Charlton took the lead, same again this past weekend as live scores weren’t going for us. But considering our awful run, other than us playing a couple more games than most around us, why are we still in the play offs?

Are Charlton actually any good?
For the love of God, I have no idea why Athletic haven’t passed us in the table as Rotherham easily managed, surely a club like Charlton, hot on our heels can claw enough points to pass a team that aquire as many points as Theresa May gets in the Brexit negotiations. Athletic fans may be as puzzled why they aren’t in the play offs where as some Bantams are puzzled why we still are in the play offs. The truth of it is, Athletic have only 3 wins in their last 12 games and 4 in 16 if you count their win in the trophy. 8 losses and 4 draws make up the last 16. I’ve been watching the league table every week, actually waiting to be bumped out of the top 6, and one thing I didn’t realise is, is Charlton’s form. None of their players have managed to hit double figures this season when comes to scoring and when looking more into the stats of Charlton, it is making a bit more clarity why Athletic aren’t worthy of play off candidates. So Charlton may not appear to be as good as first appears. Plus the Addicks have lost Ricky Holmes in the recent transfer window to Sheffield United, Holmes contributed with 6 goals this season.

But Actually.. ARE THEY?
Athletics have 2 games in hand over City and add to that a home tie this Tuesday night. If Athletic win, and then go on to get 6 points from those 2 games, that will see the Bantams fall 7 points behind their Southern rivals, and bearing in mind Athletic have a better goal difference in their favour. In fact, if Athletic win their games in hand, they would only be 1 point behind 4th placed Scunthorpe United. Athletic you can say are in a false position, or you could say City are in a false position and we are just keeping that final play off spot warm for the Addicks and have been for a couple of months. Athletic have already flirted with the play offs this season looking strong candidates for automatic promotion at one stage and after a blip seem to be aiming to get back into the mix. City may be 2 points ahead of the Addicks, but I would say Athletic is in a much better position in the table than we are. How many sane fans wouldn’t swap positions with a home game coming up?

Head to head and form
8 Athletic wins
6 draws
11 City wins

The Bantams slightly edge the Addicks since the first time the 2 clubs met 89 years ago. Athletic have already won at Valley Parade this season and will fancy their chances of a double, but last season both fixtures ended in draws. The fixture at The Valley last season ended 1-1 with 2 goals coming in leading up to half time through Jorge Teixeira and Thimothee Dieng. The last Charlton win in this fixture came in 2000 against 10 man City who saw Stuart McCall red carded on 90 minutes and goals coming from Jonatan Johansson and Graham Stuart in the first 16 minutes making it 2-0. City last won at the Valley in 1996 when we achieved the double, the game ending 0-2 thanks to Rob Steiner and Chris Waddle with Mark Schwarzer keeping a clean sheet for the Bantams. City also achieved the double the first season we met back in 1929/30 but Athletic have never managed the double of the Bantams.

Athletic last 6 DLWWLW
Athletic last 6 home LWLWLD
City last 6 DLLLLL
City last 6 away LLLLWL

City finally came away from a game without a loss for the first time in 7 attempts which means in the league we have claimed 1 point from 18. On the road we have managed to claim 3 points from a potential 15, there is no other way in putting down as poor. Athletic have experienced 2 losses in their last 6 games, one of those was a loss on penalties in the Football league trophy. Charlton are hitting a bit better form and have only lost once in their last 6 games in regular time just the once and will prove a massive test of character for the Bantams, one I don’t think we are ready for just yet. City have lost to some very poor teams of late and now find themselves playing a team around them. 2 points behind the bantams, this is a massive game that can define the Bantams season, if we lose, it really will be very difficult to come back and overhaul the opposition, especially if those games in hand bring up some points.

Bantam’s last 6 results
Bury (H) 2-2 draw
Oldham Athletic (A) 2-1 loss
AFC Wimbledon (H) 0-4 loss
Rotherham United (A) 2-0 loss
Bristol Rovers (A) 3-1 loss
Northampton Town (H) 1-2 loss

Addicks’ last 6 results
Doncaster Rovers (A) 1-1 draw
Oxford United (H) 2-3 loss
Walsall (H) 3-1 win
Bury (A) 0-1 win
Oxford United (H) 1-1 lost on penalties
Oldham Athletic (H) 1-0 win

Last 6 league encounters between City and Bury
Oct 2017 – City 0-1 Charlton
Mar 2017 – Charlton 1-1 City
Dec 2016 – City 0-0 Charlton
Apr 2001 – City 2-0 Charlton
Nov 2000 – Charlton 2-0 City
Feb 1998 – City 1-0 Charlton

Goals in numbers, last 6 games
For – Charlton 9, City 5
Conceded – Charlton 6, City 15
Blanks – Charlton 0, City 2
Clean sheets – Charlton 2, City 0

Goals in numbers Charlton home/City away (last 6)
For – Charlton 9, City 5
Conceded – Charlton 8, City 12
Blanks – Charlton 0, City 3
Clean sheets – Charlton 1, City 0

Leading scorers
13 Charlie Wyke (City)
9 Josh Magennis (Charlton)

League placings difference
1 league place difference
6th Bradford City P32 W15 D4 L13 GD-2 Pts 49
7th Charlton Athletic P30 W13 D8 L9 GD3 Pts 47

Home table
7th Charlton P16 W8 D4 L4 GD5 Pts 28
Away table
2nd Bradford City P16 W9 D2 L 5 GD 4 Pts 29

Boz’s match verdict: Home win

5 Fun Tackles
1. It’s been almost 22 years since City last won at the Valley, November 1996, in fact, Charlton’s win at Valley Parade 4 months ago was the first time since Novemeber 1996 that the away team between the 2 sides have walked away victorious.

2. The last time City won at the Valley, the Prodigy was no.1 in the charts with Breathe, Damon Hill had only a month before been crowned F1 world Champion at Suzuka, Japan because Schumacher didn’t ram him off the track, and Independence Day was the highest grossing film of the year.

3. Frank Bruno started the year as world champion and last fought in 1996 (March). Bruno’s last fight was against Mike Tyson and only his 5th professional loss, which Bruno bowed out in the 3rd round at the MGM Grand Arena in Paradise, Nevada. Bruno won the WBC heavyweight belt in his previous fight against Oliver McCall.

4. When City last won at the Valley, the world was run by leaders such as Bill Clinton, John Major, Boris Yeltsin, Roman Herzog and Jacques Chirac. Tony Blair was the leader of the opposition in the UK and Paddy Ashdown leader of the Liberal Democrats whilst Al Gore was Vice president of the US.

5. The year of our last victory at the Valley, 1996, was the year that gave us the Nintendo 64, Tamagotchis, Dolly the Sheep and the debut albums for the Spice Girls, Jay Z and the Backstreet Boys.

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