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Preview: Charlton Athletic vs. Sheffield Wednesday

Sports Mole previews the Championship clash between Charlton Athletic and Sheffield Wednesday.

Charlton Athletic will look to snap out of a 12-game winless streak when they take on high-flying Sheffield Wednesday at The Valley.

However, the Owls travel to South London as one of the in-form teams in the Championship and will be hoping to extend their unbeaten run to 12 matches.

Charlton Athletic

Tony Watt of Charlton Athletic celebrates scoring a goal during the Capital One Cup First Round match between Charlton Athletic v Dagenham & Redbridge at The Valley on August 11, 2015© Getty Images

Interim head coach Karel Fraeye believes that he has the answer to ending his team's recent slide - to address the players' lack of confidence.

He saw his Charlton side remain bottom of the Championship after defeat against newly-promoted MK Dons in midweek, but is pinning his hopes on the hard work from his squad to bring about a change in fortunes.

However, Athletic have now not won a league game since beating Hull City back in August, in which time the club has changed managers following the sacking of Guy Luzon.

If Fraeye is to mastermind a turnaround, then his defence will need to improve, with only Bristol City and Rotherham United having conceded more.

Their attacking record is little better, as the Addicks have netted only 11 goals in their first 15 matches, but they have also failed to score in their last five Championship outings.

Charlton's fixture list does not get easier either, with games against Birmingham City, Ipswich Town and Brighton & Hove Albion to come over the next few weeks.

Recent form: DLLLLL

Sheffield Wednesday

Carlos Carvalhal the manager of Sheffield Wednesday looks on during the Capital One Cup fourth round match between Sheffield Wednesday and Arsenal at Hillsborough Stadium on October 27, 2015 in Sheffield, England.© Getty Images

Carlos Carvalhal has warned his Wednesday squad that they "must be alert" to the challenge of facing Charlton, despite the Addicks' winless run.

His words may seem silly with the Owls in eighth place and unbeaten in 11 games, but the Portuguese is keen to see his team stay focused.

However, the chance to move into the playoff places before the international break may be enough for a side who have taken 21 points from a possible 27.

Away from the Championship, Wednesday have also shown their credentials as a possible Premier League team recently, after beating Arsenal 3-0 to reach the last eight of the Capital One Cup.

While their defence is not among the best in the division, over recent league games Carvalhal's backline has tightened up, conceding only six goals in their last nine outings which have included five clean sheets.

However, if Wednesday are going to seriously mount a promotion challenge then they will need to overcome the likes of Cardiff City, Derby County, Birmingham City and Middlesbrough before the turn of the year.

Recent form: WWDWWD
Recent form (all competitions): DDWWWD

Team News

Tony Watt of Charlton in action during the Sky Bet Championship match between Cardiff City and Charlton Athletic at Cardiff City Stadium on March 7, 2015© Getty Images

Teenager Ademola Lookman will be hoping to earn his first start for Charlton, after being included on the bench against MK Dons.

Reza Ghoochannejhad and ex-Celtic frontman Tony Watt could continue in attack, but Simon Makienok is also in contention for a place.

Meanwhile, Atdhe Nuhiu and Jose Semedo will be eyeing a recall to the starting lineup after dropping to the bench for the 0-0 draw with Brighton in midweek.

However, Sam Hutchinson and Lucas Joao could retain their places if Carvalhal decides to retain most, or all, of his first XI.

Charlton Athletic possible starting lineup:
Henderson; Solly, Diarra, Bauer, Fox; McAleny, Cousins, Jackson, Gudmundsson; Watt, Makienok

Sheffield Wednesday possible starting lineup:
Westwood; Hutchinson, Loovens, Lees; Lee, Hunt, Wallace, Pudil, Bannan; Nuhiu, Forestieri

Head To Head

In terms of previous encounters, there is very little to choose between the sides, with five of the last 10 matches ending in a draw.

However, in the past five games, Charlton are unbeaten against the Owls, winning two in that time, including a Marvin Sordell-inspired 3-2 victory at Hillsborough in April 2014.

Wednesday's last triumph over the Addicks came at The Valley in January 2013, with late goals from Reda Johnson and Leroy Lita helping them to a 2-1 win.

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We say: Charlton 0-2 Sheff Wed

With Charlton in such poor form and Wednesday in the midst of an 11-game unbeaten run, the Addicks could be in for a tough afternoon at The Valley. It is hard seeing past another victory for the Owls.


Who will win the Championship clash between Charlton Athletic and Sheffield Wednesday?

Charlton Athletic
Sheffield Wednesday
Charlton Athletic
Sheffield Wednesday
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General view in the stadium following the Sky Bet Championship match between Charlton Athletic and Middlesbrough at The Valley on September 27, 2014
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