Ben Watson pushing to make first league start for Charlton
Experienced midfielder Ben Watson will hope for a first League One start for Charlton against Sunderland on Saturday.
The 35-year-old, who scored an FA Cup final winner for Wigan against Manchester City in 2013, was used as a substitute in last Sunday’s 2-0 league defeat at Lincoln and started the midweek EFL Trophy penalty shoot-out victory over Brighton under-21s.
Boss Lee Bowyer made 11 changes for that game, three of them to include Watson, Jonny Williams and Jake Forster-Caskey, who had been used only as substitutes against the Imps, and he is likely to turn to the bulk of his big names once again.
However, the Addicks have lost their last two league matches, a 3-1 home defeat by Doncaster and the reverse at the LNER stadium, and he could be tempted to shuffle his pack for the visit of the Black Cats.
Sunderland midfielder Chris Maguire is a doubt after being forced off during the first half of last weekend’s 1-0 win over Peterborough by an impact injury.
He is yet to be ruled out of the trip south and even if he does not make it, manager Phil Parkinson expects him to be able to return to training next week.
Skipper Max Power is back in contention after shaking off the hamstring problem which kept him out of the Peterborough game, as is fellow midfielder Lynden Gooch, who missed training earlier this week with a groin problem.
George Dobson, who was sent off during the 1-1 draw with Bristol Rovers on September 12, completes his three-match ban.