Charlton v Shrewsbury preview: League One play-off semi-final first leg live on Sky Sports Football
Last Updated: 10/05/18 10:32am
Charlton hope to have Tariqe Fosu back for the first leg of their play-off semi-final with Shrewsbury on Thursday night.
The winger has been suffering from a hamstring strain but is in contention to play. Lewis Page (knee) missed the final game of the season and is unlikely to be fit in time for the game at the Valley.
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Shrewsbury boss Paul Hurst has been rotating his side throughout the final few games of the season to keep his squad fresh and should revert to his strongest line-up.
The Shrews remain without captain Abu Ogogo (knee), who hasn't played since March.
Both clashes between Charlton and Shrewsbury this season ended in a 2-0 win to the away side, with these two sides meeting as recently as April.
Charlton finished sixth in League One this season. The team that has finished sixth has gone on to win the play-off final in each of the last two League One seasons.
Indeed, the team finishing in third place has only gained promotion once in the previous seven seasons (Preston, 2014-15).
Shrewsbury recorded the second-best defence in League One - conceding just 39 goals, with 12 of those goals coming in the first half - a league-low total.
Since Lee Bowyer took charge of the Addicks in March, only fellow promotion hunters Scunthorpe (4) have conceded fewer goals than the south London side (5).
The Shrews will be making their fourth appearance in the EFL play-offs, however, they've yet to gain promotion this way after losing in the League Two final in 2007 and 2009 and falling at the semi-final stage in 2011.
In fact, Shrewsbury have only managed one goal in their last five play-off matches and none in their last three.
This will be Charlton's first venture in the play-offs since 2010, losing out to Swindon on penalties in the League One play-off semi-final. The Addicks' previous play-off campaign before that came in 1998, famously winning the final 7-6 on penalties after a 4-4 draw with Sunderland to reach the Premier League.
This is quite an intriguing tie. Charlton will be delighted to just be in the play-offs after battling for so long to get into the top six, while Shrewsbury spent most of the season in and around the top two, and at one stage looked on course for automatic promotion.
However, considering their pre-season expectations, the Shrews have had a fantastic season regardless. You wonder if they may have run out of the steam a little bit towards the end of the campaign, but I still fancy them to get a good result at The Valley.
David Prutton predicts: 1-1 (9/2 with Sky Bet)