How a season goes can often be determined by midweek matches away in winter. A win against Bristol Rovers tonight would propel Charlton towards the play offs. A defeat would have them looking over their shoulders at the relegation struggle. Perhaps the most likely result, a draw, would confirm that it is going to be a season of mid-table mediocrity.
The Gasheads are currently eighth in the table with the same number of points as AFC Wimbledon in sixth place. They are lower in the form table. At home they have won four matches, drawn three and lost two.
On Saturday they drew 0-0 at home with relegation strugglers MK Dons. A triple substitution by 38-year old manager Darrell Clarke on 52 minutes failed to pep up their attack, but he was satisfied with an 'honest' performance. Clarke, of course, brought them out of the non-league and then into League One and rejected an offer from Leeds in the summer.
Last season Rovers fans repeatedly tweeted US politician Darrell Clarke, mistaking him for their manager. The politician responded, 'I can relate to the manager because we both get blamed when things go wrong.'
Top scorer Matty Taylor will be available for Rovers despite picking up five yellow cards this season. However, one of those was in the Checkatrade Trophy and doesn't count. He scored 13 goals in 12 matches at the end of last season's campaign.
The Bristol Rovers official site coverage of the game includes a paragraph on the protests (the club is Jordanian owned): Preview
Rovers select three Charlton players to watch: Josh Magennis, Nicky Ajose and Ricky Holmes (injured): Key players
Caretaker manager Kevin Nugent will be in charge. A 'panel' is considering short listed candidates for the post of manager. Latest odds are Robinson, 1/4; Caldwell, 11/4; Nugent, 16/1.
Odds are: Bristol Rovers 13/10, Draw 9/4, Charlton 21/10. In 2009/10 we lost 2-1 at the Memorial Stadium. In 2010/11 we drew 2-2.
Referee Simon Hooper comes from the West Country. He sparked controversy in his first Premier League game by taking a number of controversial decisions favouring Crystal Palace: Simon Hooper