This article is part of Football FanCast’s The Chalkboard series, which provides a tactical insight into teams, players, managers, potential signings and more…
Charlton welcome high-flying Preston to The Valley this weekend, in a game that should make for an exciting affair given the fortunes of these two sides so far this season.
The Addicks have made an impressive return to Championship life, winning six of their 14 games as they sit just five points off the top of the table – they also have three players with five league goals under their belt in Conor Gallagher, Macauley Bonne and Lyle Taylor.
Having said that, Preston are doing even better.
Alex Neil’s side are sitting pretty in 2nd – just two points off the top of the table – and have scored the most goals in the Championship so far this term with 27 in 14 games.
So, who are the Preston danger-men Lee Bowyer must mention in his pre-match team talk?
The Jamaican forward is having a truly outstanding season.
In just 13 league appearances, the 27-year-old has netted eight goals as well as registering four assists – on average, he is involved in nearly a goal every game.
His prolific nature in front of goal is only emphasised by the fact that he takes just 1.6 shots per game, whilst he also record 1.5 key passes per 90 mins in the Championship.
Johnson is also an impressive contributor from a defensive aspect, as he records 1.4 tackles and 1.2 interceptions per league game.
Like Johnson, the 25-year-old is also enjoying an eye-catching campaign.
Across both the Championship and the Carabao Cup, Barkhuizen has scored seven goals and got an assist in 15 appearances.
The Englishman has even less shots per 90 than Johnson in the Championship, taking 1.1 attempts at goal on average – his five league strikes in 12 appearances show that he too is a fairly efficient finisher.
He is also a versatile forward, having played all across the frontline this season – this trait may make him just that bit more unpredictable for the south Londoners.
Playoff hero Patrick Bauer returns to The Valley this weekend, after scoring the goal that sent Charlton into the Championship with his last ever kick for the club.
The German’s efforts this term have him as Preston’s second-highest rated player on WhoScored behind Johnson, with a 7.07 rating – Bauer has started every Championship game this season, scoring one goal and winning a whopping 5.2 aerial duels per game.