Charlton meet Doncaster Rovers at the Valley this Friday in a fight for a place in the League One play-off final.
The Addicks lead 2-1 from the first leg, Joe Aribo and Lyle Taylor bagging their goals. a late consolation for Matty Blair has given the visitors hope. That, in conjunction with them being the last side to beat Charlton at the Valley, has led to hope of a tight match.
We’ve seen two of the three semi-finals this week go to penalties, with Mansfield and West Brom both eliminated following spot-kicks. It led to Jed Steer admitting he’s faced hundreds of penalties recently as Villa went through.
Steer clearly didn’t face them at Charlton, as Lee Bowyer has admitted to the Evening Standard that his side haven’t been practising from 12-yards.
“We will not practice penalties,” he confirmed.
“I do not think you can recreate it. I know myself, I missed two or three in those situations and I would have practiced for about a week before. You cannot recreate the pressure and the tiredness. They have played 90 minutes and an extra half hour, your legs are not the same. They are like jelly.”
However, his opposite number Grant McCann has confirmed this afternoon that his side will be practising spot kicks, should they manage to overturn a one-goal deficit in normal time.
With two matches already settled by spot kicks and with the come backs we’ve seen in Europe in recent weeks, could Bowyers decision not to give his players practice backfire when it matters most?
I don’t think Charlton will need penalties. I can see them winning the tie, 2-0 or by a similar margin. They’ve been incredible of late and have won eight of the last nine matches they’ve played.
They’re at home, the crowd will be loud with 24,000 expected to attend. That’ll be intimidating and Doncaster will have to raise their game significantly if they’re going to get to Wembley.
I can’t see that happening.