Premier League

Super Six in YP gong frame

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Fri, 19 Apr 2013 12:21:00

Charlton could be unchanged again for the visit of Wolves in the Championship on Saturday afternoon.

Boss Chris Powell has named the same starting line-up for the last two matches, a 6-0 win at Barnsley followed by Tuesday's battling goalless draw at promoted Cardiff.

Defender Leon Cort is close to fitness following a knee injury but, with the Addicks safe from relegation, he is unlikely to be risked.

Midfielder Danny Hollands is the only other player in the treatment room as he continues to recover from a fractured metatarsal.

The Addicks are unbeaten in their last five matches and despite having been looking over their shoulders at the relegation battle for much of the season they are now ninth and six points adrift of the play-off places.

Jamie O'Hara remains suspended as Wolves look to breathe further hope into their bid to avoid relegation.

The midfielder missed Tuesday's morale-boosting 1-0 victory over Hull following his dismissal in last weekend's 3-1 home defeat to Huddersfield. And having seen an appeal against the length of his ban dismissed, he will now serve the second game of a three-match suspension at The Valley.

Influential winger Bakary Sako, who was expected to miss the rest of the season, has made a speedier than anticipated recovery from the hamstring injury sustained in mid-March and could still play a part in Wolves' escape act, although the clash against the Addicks is set to come too soon.

David Davis (ankle), Carl Ikeme (broken hand), Sylvan Ebanks-Blake (broken leg), Dave Edwards (metatarsal) and Razak Boukari (calf) will definitely not play again this season.

Wanderers' midweek triumph took them out of the drop zone on goal difference with three matches remaining in the Championship this term, although they remain central to a congested relegation battle with ninth-placed opponents Charlton still just seven points clear of the bottom three themselves.

Earnshaw, currently playing in Major League Soccer for Toronto, started his career at Cardiff and admits to feeling a tinge of sadness that he will not get to represent his former club in the top flight.

He told Sky Sports News Radio: "I went to the club when I was 16 and it was the beginning of when everything started to change.

"Of course I would love to be there, everybody wants to play in the Premier League. It would have been great but that is not the case.

"They have been the most consistent team (in the Championship). If you don't concede a lot of goals then you are going to do well in that league. I knew that they would go up this season.

"It will be amazing for the city and amazing for Welsh football. You have two teams in the Premier League and it's an incredible achievement. I hope they can do well and enjoy it there."

The games Cardiff will be looking forward to arguably more than any others will be the two derbies against Swansea, and Earnshaw believes they are different to any other derby games in the Premier League.

"You are going to hear about it more and the Premier League isn't going to know what has hit them," the 32-year-old said.

"When Cardiff and Swansea play it's crazy. It is going to be even more mental because it is in the Premier League. I'm just hoping there isn't going to be any trouble and we will be just talking about the football.

"For me, it is as intense as any derby. You get the Manchester derby which is intense, but this is intense in a different way. It is real hard passion and it's going to be wild."

After a short spell playing in Israel for Maccabi Tel Aviv, Earnshaw is now plying his trade across the Atlantic for Ryan Nelsen's Toronto, scoring five goals in six appearances, an experience he is thoroughly enjoying.

"Apart from the war and craziness I had a great time in Israel," Earnshaw said. "Playing out there was good and I was with a big, big club.

"I was out there to play some games and experience something different but in the back of my mind the thought was always to come to the MLS.

"Initially I had a couple calls to tell me of the interest and it all happened in three or four days. They asked me if I was interested and two days later I was on a flight.

"A big factor in my decision was Ryan Nelson. We played against each other a few times and he wanted me to come over and play.

"I have really seen the quality, how good the league is and the facilities are the best I have been involved with. The training centres, stadiums, the teams you play against, everything is run absolutely right.

"As a league, it is an incredible league to play in. All these factors came into it and I'm lucky it is going well."

Earnshaw is also adamant that the standard in the MLS is much higher than many people realise.

"I think people underestimate how good it is in this league," he said.

"I have been lucky, I have scored a few goals and done well. It could easily have gone the other way. It is tough to play in.

"You have some very good technical players, and the league is very high intensity.

"It makes it easy to settle in without the language barrier, but the main thing that does make it tough is flying to every single away game. You may travel one or two days before and end up spending three or four days away.

"There are good things but the travelling is tough on your body. But the league is so much more enjoyable than I ever thought."

Earnshaw also revealed that his trademark backflip celebration has helped quickly endear himself to the Toronto locals.

"They love it out here," he added. Everybody is talking about the celebration and wondering what I am going to do next.

"When I came out here I wanted to embrace everything and try to do well. The fact people appreciate me straight away is a great thing for me.

"When you come to a new team you want to start well and score some goals, especially if you're a striker. They expect you to score every game here because you are coming from the UK.

"I am happy and things are going well. I hope things can develop for this team. We have had 12 new players all coming in at the same time, so for us to be doing well in the league is amazing."

Listen to Sky Sports News Radio online at skysports.com/radio or via the Sky Sports apps

The 2013 winner will be announced at a dinner in London on Sunday April 28, with Villa striker Benteke in the running after a stunning debut season for Paul Lambert's strugglers.

The 22-year-old Belgian International, a ?7million signing from Genk, has bagged 15 Premier League goals so far this season.

Benteke's Belgium team-mate Lukaku is also in contention having made a huge impact while on-loan at West Brom from Chelsea.

The 19-year-old, who signed for ?18m from Anderlecht in 2011, has netted

13 goals in 15 Premier League starts for Albion.

Manchester United forward Welbeck also makes the shortlist. He scored United's goal in the 1-1 draw at Real Madrid and is in line to win his first Premier League title this season.

Welbeck has scored just two goals this season but often wins praise for his workrate and can play as a winger/wide striker.

Arsenal midfielder Wilshere, winner of the 2011 Young Player's Award, made his first start of the season on October 27.

Tottenham star Bale and Chelsea playmaker Hazard are on the list.

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