A season that started so brightly for Charlton Athletic is ending in a scrap for Sky Bet Championship survival, as they fight to maintain their second-tier status.
It’s a battle the Addicks are hopeful of winning, though, and they secured a vital victory at Hull City last weekend to propel themselves out of the relegation zone at the expense of the Tigers.
Ahead of #CHAQPR, we have taken a look at some of the numbers behind Charlton’s season so far…
The on-the-pitch action only tells half the story of Charlton’s 2019/20, as public ownership spats have produced their fair share of headlines in the last four months or so.
On the field, Lee Bowyer’s squad started the season well, winning four of their opening six games, but a lengthy autumn injury list hampered their early-season progress.
They are currently 19th – one point above the drop-zone – and polishing up the defensive side of their game and being clinical in attack will be crucial during the run-in for them.
The Addicks have created 45 ‘big chances’ this season – the tenth highest in the Championship – but they are the fifth lowest scorers in the division.
Similarly, they have had the fewest shots at goal in the league, with 341, and at the other end of the pitch they have faced the most shots, with 602 being aimed at their net.
They’re not short on commitment, however, as they have blocked 167 of those shots, an average of 4.39 per game, and they are second best in the league at blocking crosses, too, with 2.45 being stopped at source on average per match.
Charlton’s star of the show so far in 2019/20 has arguably been their goalkeeper Dillon Phillips. The stopper – who first joined the Addicks aged just eight – progressed all the way through their academy ranks before establishing himself as their ‘number one’ last season.
No goalkeeper has made more saves in the Championship this season than Phillips, who has kept out 130 efforts on his goal. Eighty-two of those strikes have come from inside his penalty area – a divisional high – and he also ranks highest in the league for the number of successful punched clearances made; 32.
R’s fans may remember that Phillips was in good form when the Addicks visited Kiyan Prince Foundation Stadium in December. He made an eye-catching one-on-one save from Nahki Wells, although the R’s would find a way past him twice on the day, with Geoff Cameron and Marc Pugh scoring. Phillips averages a clean sheet every 0.18 matches.
Last time out
Charlton recorded a massive victory last time out to leapfrog Hull City and lift themselves out of the relegation zone.
The single-goal victory, secured by a Jason Pearce header, was certainly hard fought, with the Addicks having to make 34 clearances over the course of the 90 minutes. Fourteen of those clearances came by virtue of a defensive header.
Lee Bowyer’s team also won 57 duels – 13 less than Hull’s 70 – and won possession back 22 times in their own defensive third. At the other end of the pitch, they created two ‘big chances’ and took one of them through Pearce’s far post header.
Ranger v Addick
As well as being very popular with their respective fan bases, QPR’s Dom Ball and Charlton’s Josh Cullen have both performed impressively in front of their back fours this season.
The pair have both racked up 27 appearances in all competitions and, although the occupy the same primary position on the pitch, their games are not identical.
Statistics indicate that Charlton’s Cullen is more of a box-to-box midfielder than Ball. Cullen has entered an opposition’s penalty area 130 times this season compared to Ball’s eight entries, while Cullen has also had seven shots on target this campaign, to Ball’s one.
Ball has gained his plaudits in 2019/20 through his break-up play and his 33 tackles won – compared to Cullen’s 21 – show why. Ball has also won possession for his team in the attacking third eight times this season, one more than Cullen, and his passing accuracy of 83.99% pips Cullen’s by just over one per cent.
The statistics in this article were sourced through Twenty3’s extensive football database.