season that had hitherto promised so much for Derby has suffered a mini blip of late, with the promotion-chasing side failing to win their last two games in League One.
After going on a six-game winning run in the competition, Paul Warne’s men were beaten 3-2 by Wycombe Wanderers last Saturday before being unsuccessful in their push for a winning goal against Forest Green on Tuesday.
The fifth-placed side had a man advantage for the final 35 minutes of normal time following Ben House’s sending-off in the 55th minute — as well as nine minutes of second-half stoppage time — but could only score an equaliser through Conor Hourihane, who cancelled out Olamide Shodipo’s 43rd-minute strike.
While the stalemate has not put Derby’s playoff place in immediate jeopardy — the East Midlands club will retain their top-six spot even if they are beaten this weekend — Warne’s men go into Saturday’s encounter seeking their first league victory in three games to avoid clinging on to their cherished position.
Barnsley occupy the final playoff spot but are one point adrift of the side from Derbyshire having played a game fewer, while Wycombe Wanderers in seventh place trail the promotion-chasing side by four points.
Nevertheless, the Rams’ record at Pride Park gives reason for optimism. Only the league’s top two sides — Plymouth Argyle and Sheffield Wednesday — have accrued more than Derby’s 13 points from an available 15 in recent home games, possibly making the Warne’s outfit favourites on Saturday.
That said, the fifth-placed team ought to be wary against a Charlton side that have claimed three away wins in succession.
The Addicks beat Portsmouth 3-1 on New Year’s Day, got the better of Exeter City in a 2-1 triumph at the start of February and played out a 1-0 success over Forest Green last time out.
Dean Holden has improved the London club’s record on their travels since taking over in late December, claiming three wins in four fixtures away from the Valley.
Corey Blackett-Taylor and Jesurun Rak-Sakyi’s finishing has been vital in their ongoing run, with the wide attackers netting two each to contribute four of the six goals scored by the side from the capital.
Holden’s men have claimed 15 points from seven games in 2023, a total bettered by four teams in League One. For context, two of the clubs — Bolton Wanderers and Shrewsbury Town — have played more games than the Addicks in the calendar year.