Charlton welcome Preston to The Valley on Sunday in what should be an exciting game given the form of both sides.
Preston, under former Norwich boss Alex Neil’s guidance, has his Preston side sat 2nd in the Championship table having won seven of their 14 league games so far – they are just two points off 1st-place West Brom.
In the Addicks’ case, they have also won seven games, and are just three points off their opponents for this Sunday – the south Londoners would go above Preston if they manage to win by four goals.
Lee Bowyer has a few injuries to deal with. Jonny Williams looks set for at least two months on the sidelines, while Lyle Taylor is still yet to return from a knee injury.
Let’s take a look at the XI Bowyer should put out for this top-nine Championship clash…
We think that Bowyer should start with the same formation that he went with last time out against West Brom.
In that 2-2 draw against the Championship leaders, Bowyer set his side up in a 5-3-1-1 formation, focusing on a tightly-packed defence and a goal threat in Conor Gallagher and Macauley Bonne – the pair of them have ten league goals combined.
It worked against one of the division’s high-flying sides in West Brom, and with Preston just a couple of points behind them, it would be sensible to keep the same shape for Sunday’s game.
There are, however, a few changes. Gallagher started as a central midfielder at the Hawthorns last time out, but we feel that he would be better suited to attacking midfield against Preston with Beram Kayal replacing summer signing Erhun Oztumer in the side – the Chelsea loanee is too deadly in front of goal to be kept in a deeper role.
Bowyer must focus on packing his midfield and ensuring they screen the backline effectively, as Preston have a few dangerous players who may feel confident given their form so far this term – we outlined two potential danger-men who Charlton must keep an eye on this weekend.
A point against the league leaders is admirable, so we aren’t changing too much about the lineup from that game. But Gallagher’s goalscoring threat must be moved closer to the final third with a less attack-minded option in Kayal coming in to offset that.