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Dec 12, 2015 at 3pm UK
CharltonCharlton Athletic
LeedsLeeds United

Preview: Charlton Athletic vs. Leeds United

:Headline: Preview: Charlton Athletic vs. Leeds United:
Sports Mole previews the Championship clash between Charlton Athletic and Leeds United.

Charlton Athletic will look to return to winning ways when they face Leeds United at The Valley.

The Addicks threw away a two-goal lead at Brighton & Hove Albion, but their opponents are going in search of a fourth victory in six games under new manager Steve Evans.

Charlton Athletic

Interim boss Karel Fraeye has admitted that last Saturday's defeat away to Brighton was "hard to take", having led 2-0 at the Amex Stadium.

However, keeper Stephen Henderson is adamant that a lack of consistency is a key factor in the Addicks' run of recent results.

He has urged his teammates to maintain their performance levels for longer and with Charlton languishing in the Championship relegation zone, it is easy to see why they need to up their game.

Things had looked up when Athletic beat Sheffield Wednesday and Birmingham City either side of the international break.

Nevertheless, a resounding defeat against Ipswich Town and last weekend's capitulation away to Albion means that the Addicks have picked up just seven points from a possible 36.

Part of their explanation for their wretched form lies in their defensive record, having let in 33 goals. Only Fulham and Rotherham United have conceded more.

Recent form: LLWWLL

Leeds United

Steve Evans has suggested that the club's hierarchy are ready to back him with transfer funds, if the Scot manages to turn the team's season into a possible playoff campaign.

The former Rotherham manager's appointment was questioned when he moved to Elland Road, but recent results have hinted at a revival of sorts.

Evans admitted that United had "a bad couple of weeks" when they lost to Rotherham and Queens Park Rangers, but believes that last weekend's victory over Hull City came at the right time for his squad.

Indeed, that victory means that Leeds have now won three of the last eight games (with three defeats), more victories than under Uwe Rosler during his brief time with the Yorkshire outfit.

The Whites have also become tighter in defence under their new boss, conceding only three goals in their last five games.

However, Evans is reportedly facing a fight to keep hold of young star Sam Byram, who is out of contract in the summer.

Recent form: LWWLLW

Team News

Leeds captain Sol Bamba is expected to miss the trip to The Valley, having been out with a fractured toe since mid-November.

His likely absence means that Liam Cooper and Giuseppe Bellusci should continue in the heart of the visitors' defence.

Tom Adeyemi is also in contention to keep his starting place after scoring in the win against Hull last week.

Meanwhile, Charlton will decide between retaining Chris Solly and Harry Lennon, or recall Tareiq Holmes-Dennis and Naby Sarr in defence.

Johnnie Jackson will be hoping for a return to the first XI after being left out of the matchday squad for the trip to Brighton.

Charlton Athletic possible starting lineup:
Henderson; Sarr, Bauer, Holmes-Dennis, Fox; Diarra, Cousins, Ghoochannejhad, Gudmundsson, Lookman; Vaz Te

Leeds United possible starting lineup:
Silvestri; Wootton, Bellusci, Cooper, Taylor; Dallas, Adeyemi, Cook, Bridcutt, Mowatt; Wood

Head To Head

Of the 53 previous meetings dating back to October 1931, Leeds have had the better of things, winning 25 and losing 18.

However, their recent record against the Addicks is not great, with only one win in the last nine encounters.

In that solitary victory, they relied on four goals from striker Ross McCormack to help them triumph 4-2 at The Valley.

We say: Charlton Athletic 1-2 Leeds United

Both sides have shown signs of recovery in recent weeks and it may be that Charlton prove a tough side to beat this time, but United's relative resurgence has demonstrated that they are growing in confidence and could take another win at The Valley.

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