The Long And Winding Road
Much has been said and written since last week's capitulation to Brighton and Phil Parkinson would have liked an easier looking fixture than this as he tries to get the team's season back on track.
Carlisle have won three, drawn two and lost one of their opening six fixtures at Brunton Park. They are a defensively sound unit, conceding just two goals at home whilst keeping four clean sheets. Greg Abbott was under pressure last season, with fans calling for his head, but has managed to turn the Cumbrians fortunes round. He will no doubt have words of encouragement for the beleaguered Parkinson.
Carlisle used the midfield diamond formation that took the Addicks by surprise last week so Parkinson will have to decide on a strategy to combat it.
Two Manchester United youngsters have been prominent in recent weeks, central defender James Chester and midfield man, Ollie Norwood,hailed by some as the new Beckham, are enjoying successful loan spells in the Carlisle ranks.
Charlton will have to deal with League One's second highest scorer, Gary Madine. The 6'5' front man could be partnered by Mike Grella, the American forward on loan from Leeds.
Parkinson has hinted that there will be changes and it would be surprising if he didn't shuffle his pack as he searches for that elusive winning formula.
This is a tough assignment for Charlton and Parkinson will hope the stinging criticism will bring a reaction from his players. He will want them to be solid and not concede any sloppy goals. In truth, if Charlton get anything from this game it il be viewed very much as a bonus.
Carlisle United Team News:
Greg Abbott will give some thought to his strike partnership.
Player to watch: Gary Madine
Charlton Athletic Team News:
Elliot will be in goal with Simon Francis sure to return at right-back. Doherty was poor against Brighton and the manager will have to decide between him and Fortune as Christian Dailly's partner. Matt Fry will probably come in at left-back with Johnnie Jackson utilised further forward.
Despite the problems caused by Brighton's diamond midfield Parkinson is likely to stick with his favoured 4-4-2 shape. Martin and Jackson will probably be used on the flanks though the latter's creativity would be an asset in a more central position. There have been calls for McCormack to replace Racon but the Frenchman has a better all-round game and may retain his place.
Pawel Abbott is still struggling to find his form and could make way for Joe Anyinsah as Benson's partner.
Player to watch: Paul Benson
Match Facts & Stats
Scott Mathieson of Cheshire will be the referee.