Charlton’s existence under Roland Duchatelet is a sorry tale but the Belgian owner has a curious habit of evading full-blown outrage by digging out results whenever he needs them most, and it’s a trend that could continue when the Londoners chase a third straight win at big odds against an unconvincing Ipswich side. The home win is a bet worth having here at nearly 3/1.
Addicks fans are planning to stage a protest during the game but these things only ever turn toxic when accompanied by poor results and a pre-match gathering outside the main stand before the last home game was soon forgotten as the team raced into a 3-0 lead against Sheffield Wednesday, inflicting the Owls’ first defeat for 12 matches. It was a result they followed up with a 1-0 success at Birmingham last weekend.
One of the main gripes with Duchatelet is the culture for hiring and firing a succession of low-profile overseas managers. Jose Riga, Bob Peeters and Guy Luzon made no lasting impact but all did enough initially to take the heat off their paymaster at crucial moments and a similar story appears to be unfolding with Karel Fraeye. Sometimes, there’s a lot to be said for just changing it up and doing things differently.
Fraeye’s first observation was to pick up on a positive spirit within the camp. The players want to play for each other but they had grown disillusioned with Luzon as he persisted with a basic 4-4-2 system that was failing badly, making them look awfully predictable. The players now have a much more open dialogue and have embraced a new 4-3-1-2 formation that makes the most of Johann Gudmundsson’s creative talents in behind the strikers.
Therefore, we should dismiss the run of nine defeats in 11 matches (incurring a -17 goal difference) prior to Bonfire Night and consider the two victories either side of the international break as a slate wiped clean. If the Addicks operate with the same energy and purpose they displayed against Carlos Carvalhal’s men, then a similar outcome could be on the cards.
For all of Charlton’s obvious woes since the end of August, Ipswich haven’t fared much better, winning just three of their last 14 matches in all competitions. Only rock-bottom Bolton have shipped more goals on the road, the Tractor Boys have conceded at least twice in five of their eight away trips and, curiously, they’ve also failed to win any of their 11 matches played in front of the television cameras during 2015.
My 16-match ratings indicate a much higher potential for goals than the market, my total expectancy figure of 2.71 dwarfing the current Asian line by around 0.35 goals. With that in mind, it can do no harm to throw some loose change at the Charlton 2-1 and Charlton 3-2 correct scores, both of which represent value at standard conversion rates. Ipswich have featured in three 2-2 draws this season and three other games that have produced five goals or more.
For more information about Mike Holden’s shot-based ratings system, follow this link.