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Thursday, September 03, 2009

Big Match Preview

League One
Charlton Athletic vs. Brentford
Saturday September 5, 12:15, The Valley

Five games played, five wins, Charlton have made a perfect start to life in League One after relegation last season. However, they face tough opponents this weekend in a London derby as Andy Scott's Brentford look to continue their unbeaten start to the campaign.

It's been an unexpectedly good beginning to the new season for the Addicks. Phil Parkinson's side were dismal on their way to falling out of the Championship in 2008/9. However, they've hit the ground running this term.

An opening day win over Wycombe was followed by away wins at Hartlepool and Leyton Orient, and victories over Walsall and Tranmere have reaped six goals without reply. All in all, the table-topping Londoners are enjoying life in the third tier.

They've also been strengthening their squad this week, with the capture of former Norwich striker Leon Mackenzie and defender Sam Sodje, who had been on the books of Reading until being released.

With the likes of Deon Burton, Lloyd Sam, and Jonjo Shelvey going forwards, Athletic have not found goals hard to come by, and look to have the ammunition required to launch an assault on an immediate return to the Championship.

However, they're likely to face their toughest task to date as Capital City rivals Brentford make the short trip to the Valley, bringing an unbeaten record of their own.

Highly-rated Brentford boss Andy Scott led the Bees to the League Two title

The Bees, last season's League Two champions, have made the step-up a division pretty seamlessly and currently lie 6th. Their impressive young manager, Andy Scott, has already been catching the attention of clubs in higher divisions.

They've collected two wins so far, an opening day win at Carlisle, and a defeat of Norwich at Griffin Park. They also gained an impressive draw at Southampton too, so won't be fazed by facing the third of the relegated clubs this weekend.

A team who epitomise a collective effort, six players have registered their seven goals this term. Notable names in the squad include former Premier League men Carl Cort and Steve Kabba.

The summer additions of Ben Strevens and Sam Saunders, both from Dagenham & Redbridge, were particularly astute signings by manager Scott though, and they join a group of young, hungry players, keen to re-establish Brentford back in League One.

Saturday is likely to be their most difficult fixture to date though - Charlton are a confident side who are in full flow at the minute. However, Parkinson's men have yet to come across a side who are likely to be challenging at the business end come the end of the season.

When you throw in the fact this is a local derby, then this could be a very close encounter. Home advantage may well swing in to Charlton's favour, but only just.

Nobes' Prediction: Charlton Athletic 1 Brentford 0

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