Weblog: The football punter

Hotshot Taylor aiming to fire Addicks to Wembley

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Charlton lead 2-1 after first leg

The EFL playoffs have once again delivered considerable drama but there may not be another famous fightback when the semi-finals are completed by Doncaster's trip to a packed-out Valley.

Charlton hold a 2-1 advantage from the first leg and can see off the Rovers threat by booking a Sky Bet League One final spot.

Lee Bowyer's hosts are odds-on to repeat their Sunday success, although given that a draw will do for the Addicks that may be a price best avoided.

A better punt could come in taking home hotshot Lyle Taylor to get his name on the scoresheet.

Taylor has looked the part all term, scoring 22 goals in the regular season as Charlton finished third, and the former Wimbledon man might feel he could have taken the League One Golden Boot had he been the main attacking outlet all campaign.


Instead Taylor started the season sharing the scoring exploits with Karlan Grant, who then moved to Premier League outfit Huddersfield at the end of January. Lively Lyle has scored ten times in his last 11 matches - five of those were the opening goal and he broke the deadlock in the first leg.

Taylor came close to grabbing a second shortly before Matty Blair gave Rovers late hope by reducing the deficit to just one goal and if Charlton score it is likely to come via their prolific number nine.

Igor Vetokele is injured and Josh Parker is struggling in front of goal, last scoring for previous club Gillingham on Boxing Day. Taylor is on penalties and can benefit from the excellent midfield play of Joe Aribo, who was linked with Manchester City this week.

Bowyer's boys finished the season in rip-roaring form with only two defeats in 2019 and six straight home wins, a run which includes victories over highflying Portsmouth and Luton.

Doncaster were the last team to win at the Valley way back on December 2. However, Charlton rested a number of players for the FA Cup tie in front of a sparse crowd and had proved their ability by beating Donny just a few weeks earlier in a comfortable 2-0 triumph.

Rovers will need a seasonal best performance to turn around the tie after finishing 15 points behind Charlton in the regular season and failing to land a blow at the better sides in the division.

Grant McCann's men collected only five away points- no wins - against fellow top-half opponents.

Striker John Marquis and wide threat Mallik Wilks can be dangers but if Charlton play to their usual standards the Addicks should be heading to Wembley.

L Taylor first goalscorer

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Match in Focus


West Brom v Stoke

Home WinDrawAway Win
Key stats
  • West Brom have lost one of their last 10 matches against Stoke
Expert verdict
West Brom have lost just two games this season and they should be too strong for Stoke at the Hawthorns. The Baggies are top following Leeds’ defeat to Sheffield Wednesday and they can cement their place in pole position against a side who have won just one of their last five away league fixtures.