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Michael Taylor 15th Dec 2008 - 13:20

Parkinson needs to answer questions

Phil Parkinson has been handed the task of halting Charlton's losing slide over the festive period but when Derby County visit The Valley on Monday it could be the start of a nightmare before Christmas.

The Addicks are in deep financial turmoil after take-over plans collapsed earlier in the year while the back-room instability has been matched on the field by a struggling and depleted squad.

Charlton have now gone twelve games without a win, sit bottom of the Championship and have removed manager Alan Pardew. And with a good portion of his squad made up from loanees Parkinson may find the job of stabilising the club a step too far.

For the Derby game, Charlton will likely include Linvoy Primus in Jay McEveley's absence while Saturday's goalscorer Deon Burton (11/2 for the first goal) will hope to notch his second goal since joining from Sheffield Wednesday.

Derby themselves have been going through a bad patch with four losses in the last five games and their injury ravaged squad now includes veteran defender Darren Powell.

However, Nathan Ellington has been in great form leading Derby to the Carling Cup semi-finals and is 6/1 for the first goal.

He will be joined by former Sheffield United star Rob Hulse (13/2 first goal) in attack while Kris Commons has the ability to provide ammunition for the pair.

In the match betting the 7/5 about Charlton looks near impossible to back given they have become the division's whipping boys - a position Derby know all about after their Premier League adventure of last year.

The 19/10 about Derby seems very generous as Paul Jewell is a proven Championship manager who will no doubt bring an end to the Rams poor form in the near future. The draw at 23/10 also looks reasonable value.

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