Writer: Tom Bodell
Date:Monday December 31 2012
WATFORD kick-off the 2013 N.Power Championship calender on New Years Day as they taken on Chris Powell's Charlton Athletic.
After ending 2012 on a high with a resounding 3-1 win over Brighton & Hove Albion at the AmEx, Gianfranco Zola's side will look to begin the New Year in similar fashion.
Former Hornet Powell has done a good job of stabilising the Addicks on their return to the second-tier, guiding the South London outfit to 18th place after 25 games.
A slow start to the campaign saw Charlton win just three of their opening 14 league clashes but a recent run of seven games without defeat through November and the beginning of December propelled the Addicks up the league table.
Powell has been quick to add to his side, though not with the same revolving door policy as last pre-season.
Loan signing Rob Hulse one of those additions packing plenty of second-tier experience.
Signed on-loan from Premier League Queens Park Rangers in October, the 33 year-old has bagged three times in 10 league starts for Charlton, making four further substitute appearances.
A powerful line-leader, the 6'1 targetman has also turned out for Crewe Alexandra, West Browmich Albion, Leeds United, Sheffield United, Derby County and QPR.
Yet another product off of the famous Gresty Road production line, the Crewe-born forward bagged 45 goals in just 97 league starts for the Alex before joining Albion in a £750k deal.
Ten goals in 29 appearances for the Premier League side was enough to tempt Leeds into signing the hulking goal-getter on-loan before making the deal permanent as United & Hulse lost to the 'Orns in the 2006 Play-Off Final.
At the other end of the experience scale is Arsenal midfielder, Emmanuel Frimpong.
Perhaps best-known for being the cousin of rapper Lethal Bizzle, the 20 year-old Ghanaian has made six senior appearances for the Gunners and also spent a period on-loan at Wolverhampton Wanderers towards the end of last season.
Powerful in the tackle and energetic, the 5'10 enforcer has also turned out for England's U16 & U17 sides but holds a Ghanaian passport as well as a British one and intends to represent the country of his birth.
In 2011, Frimpong came out with following gem when confirming his desire to represent Ghana: 'I have always told my family that if Ghana calls me, I will personally ride my own bicycle from England to Ghana [to play for the Black Stars]'
At the back, utility man Chris Solly is one of just two league ever-presents, the other being goalkeeper Ben Hamer.
Solly, 21, has spent his entire career at the Valley, having been released by Arsenal at the age of 12 after a three-year stint with the Gunners.
Since making his professional debut for the South Londoners in 2009, Solly has made gone on to make 99 league and cup appearances for Powell's side and will make his 100th against Watford assuming he keeps up his run of appearances.
A right-back by nature, the Rochester-born full-back can also play in the centre of midfield - a useful commodity for Powell.
Last season saw the 5'8 defender pick up the club's 'Player of the Season' and 'Young Player of the Season' awards - the first player to due so since fellow defender Richard Rufus in 1995.
Charlton will be without central defender Michael Morrison as he serves a one-game ban, whilst Danny Haynes (hamstring) was substituted after just 35 minutes of the Addicks' 1-1 draw with Derby County last time out.
Watford are without Lloyd Doyley (calf) and Fitz Hall (hamstring).
John Eustace, Neuton, Fernando Forestieri & Jonathan Bond are all fit for selection once again.
Charlton Athletic: Hamer; Solly, Dervite, Cort, Evina; Wilson, Pritchard, Stephens, Jackson (c); Wright-Phillips & Kermorgant.
Watford: Almunia; Ekstrand, Hall, Hoban; Cassetti, Abdi, Hogg, Chalobah, Pudil; Deeney & Vydra.
Referee: Mr T Kettle.
Date:Monday December 31 2012
Zola bemoans crucial refereeing decisions at Leeds (Sunday December 8 2013)
Watford handed away tie in FA Cup (Sunday December 8 2013)
FA Cup: Watford ball No.40 in 3rd round draw (Sunday December 8 2013)
Stats: Leeds v Watford (Saturday December 7 2013)
Hornets snatch late point at Elland Road (Saturday December 7 2013)
Starting XIs: Leeds United v Watford (Saturday December 7 2013)
Opposing View: Leeds United (Friday December 6 2013)
Preview: Leeds United (A) - December 7 (Thursday December 5 2013)
Opinion: Time to get behind the players (Thursday December 5 2013)
Away From Home: Lines of communication crucial (Wednesday December 4 2013)
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