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In opposition: Charlton Athletic v Crystal Palce

12 September 2012

As our new series continues on, we preview one of this week's big matches with the help of a supporter from each club.

This Friday, south London rivals Charlton Athletic and Crystal Palace go head-to-head at The Valley.


Name: Alex Hookway.

Club: Charlton Athletic.

Number of years as a supporter: 10.

Favourite moment as a fan: Most of my years supporting the club have seen us falling down the leagues, so seeing us promoted up at Carlisle United last season under the management of club legend Chris Powell was probably my favourite moment.

How many games a season do you attend? Around 35.

Where do you sit? East Stand.


Name: Matthew Watts.

Club: Crystal Palace.

Number of years as a supporter: 14.

Favourite moment as a fan: It has to be beating West Ham United in the 2003/04 Division One Play-Off final. Staying up on the final day of the 2009/10 season was also a fantastic achievement.

How many games a season do you attend? About 30.

Where do you sit? Whitehorse Lane End.



What happened in your last match?

AH: We lost 2-1 away at Nottingham Forest.

MW: We won 2-1 at home to Sheffield Wednesday.

Why is this game important?

AH: Apart from the rivalry between the two teams, we need to pick up as many points as possible early on in the season to try and keep our momentum from last season going.

MW: We need to build on the victory against Wednesday. After a slow start to the season, we've got some exciting new players in and some key players coming back from injury. Our season started against Wednesday and it would be nice to back that up with a win at The Valley.

How do you see this game going?

AH: After our solid start to the season, and Palace picking up their first win of the season in their last game, I can see the game being a tight one, with the teams being separated by the odd goal. Having said that, though, I can't see us losing this one personally, and think we will come out on top.

MW: I think it's going to be a cracking game. Charlton perhaps have the winning mentality, after promotion, but we are coming off the back of a good win and our record in derby matches under Dougie Freedman is very good.

Who should we keep our eye on?

AH: Following his cameo appearance at Nottingham Forest last week, where he managed to grab a goal and change the game for the 10 minutes he was on the pitch, I can see Ricardo Fuller causing Palace some problems. Goalkeeper Ben Hamer has also been in good form this season, but hopefully he won't have much to do on Friday. Yann Kermorgant should also put in his usual battering-ram performance to rough up the Palace defenders a bit, too.

MW: Charlton will need to have more than one eye on Wilfried Zaha. It will take two men, if not three, to keep him quiet for 90 minutes. Wilf is a box of tricks and he goes past defenders like they aren't there. He's certainly not the finished article, but, when he's on song there isn't a defence in the Championship that can handle him. I have to mention young Jonny Williams, too. He burst on to the scene last year with some good performances. Jonny has pace to burn and fantastic close control. This could be his season.

Any memories of previous encounters?

AH: Our last meeting was during the 2008/09 Championship season when we were on a terrible run of results, which eventually saw us relegated. The game at The Valley was one highlight from that season, with us ending our poor run with a 1-0 win thanks to a Matt Spring goal.

I also remember the 2-2 draw at The Valley in 2005, when a Jon Fortune goal led to their relegation from the Premier League.

MW: Our recent record against Charlton is pretty poor, especially at The Valley. We got a point there in the 2004/05 Premier League season. Unfortunately, we needed a win to stay up.

During the 2007/08 season we went to The Valley on a fantastic run but lost 2-0. Then, in 2008/09, Charlton were hurtling towards League 1 but they still managed to beat us 1-0. So yeah, I think it's time to make some new memories...

Score prediction?

AH: As I said earlier, I think the game will be tight, but can see us running out 2-1 winners.

MW: 2-2.

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