PREVIEW: Charlton Athletic vs Argyle

On Boxing Day, the Pilgrims make their second trip to the Valley in as many months, having visited Charlton Athletic in the first round of the Emirates FA Cup in November.

On that day, a Luke Jephcott strike on the hour was enough to send Ryan Lowe's Argyle into the second round of the competition, and a win over Lincoln City at Home Park in the following round set up a trip to Sky Bet Championship side Huddersfield Town in January.

In league action, the Greens had endured a fallow period of late, but a superb victory last time out over Milton Keynes Dons, secured by Ryan Hardie winner, was a timely boost for the Pilgrims, who lie in 14th place in Sky Bet League One.

Meanwhile, Lee Bowyer’s Addicks remain on the fringes of the play-off pack. On Saturday, Charlton surrendered a last-minute equaliser on the road at Swindon Town to draw 2-2, having come from behind to lead through goals from Omar Bogle and Chuks Aneke.

The draw against the Robins followed a high-scoring 5-2 victory over AFC Wimbledon at the Valley, played in front of a 2,000 crowd, with former Pilgrim Ben Purrington one of the Addicks’ five different goalscorers that day.

In their previous fixture, Charlton conceded another last-minute equaliser, this time away at Shrewsbury Town, where former Argyle midfielder Ollie Norburn converted a 95th minute to earn the Salopians a 1-1 draw. The Addicks kicked-off December with a surprising 1-0 home defeat to Milton Keynes Dons.

Bowyer is boosted by the return to fitness of Queens Park Rangers loanee forward Paul Smyth, who has returned to training following a knee injury, and Albie Morgan is back in contention after a positive COVID test. However, Ryan Inniss, Alfie Doughty and Akin Famewo remain sidelined with long-term injuries, and Andrew Shinnie is also likely to be unavailable with a thigh injury.


The record: P 34 W 6 D 6 L 22 F 35 A 63

The first time: Division Three South, 25 March, 1922. Charlton Athletic 0 Argyle 0

The last time: Sky Bet League One, 22 September, 2018. Charlton Athletic 2 Argyle 1

Graham Carey headed in Joel Grant’s cross after just nine minutes to give Derek Adams’ Argyle the lead.

Karlan Grant equalised for the home side just three minutes later following a corner from current Pilgrim Ben Reeves. Matt Macey then saved a Lyle Taylor penalty on 37 minutes. Just as it looked as though we would leave the Valley with a valuable point, Grant scored his second goal of the match two minutes from time to seal the points.

Biggest win: Division Three South, 25 March, 1926. Charlton Athletic 0 Argyle 5

Robert Jack’s Argyle went nap in 1926, winning 5-0 at the Valley.

Fred Forbes, Jack Cock, Jack Leslie (2) and Alf Matthews scored our goals in our biggest ever win away at Charlton.

Most goals in a single game: Ten.

When the two teams line up on Boxing Day it will be 60 years to the day that the Addicks beat Argyle 6-4 in a Division 2 Christmas cracker.

The Greens, under the dual management of Neil Dougall and George Taylor, took a second minute lead through Peter Anderson. However, by half-time we were 2-3 down, our second goal coming from Johnny Williams.

Worse was to come, as the Londoners made it 4-2 eight minutes after the break. That stirred the Pilgrims into action, though, and a brace from George Kirby drew the teams level. The game turned in the 82nd minute – Argyle failed to take an excellent chance to go 5-4 up and Charlton broke forward to score themselves. An even later goal meant that the match finished 6-4.

The next day, Tuesday, December 27th, 1960, the two clubs met again, this time at Home Park, and Argyle had their revenge by reversing the score line. Wilf Carter scored five of our six goals that day – the only time that an individual Argyle player has scored more than four times in a single match.

Saturday's fixture is available to stream live, worldwide, on iFollow Argyle, for £10. Click here to purchase your match pass.

Please note that, due to Tier Four restrictions, commentary for Saturday's fixture will be provided on a dual basis by BBC Radio London.