Tottenham versus Charlton is a tale of high expectations that aren't being met, versus an underdog's success story.
When your bitter, local rivals have Thierry Henry and Dennis Bergkamp leading the line, the signing of Andy Booth must make the Spurs fans just a little envious towards their north London neighbours. Booth managed to get only two goals in the Premiership throughout the whole of last season for Sheffield Wednesday. In fact only 6% of his shots ended up in the back of the net, which is hardly the stuff legends are made of. And although he did make a positive impact on his Tottenham debut, it remains to be seen if he is the short-term answer to Spurs' problems.
Charlton fans, on the other hand, have never had huge pressure-inducing expectations, so this season will have come as a fairly pleasant way to spend the weekends. Their team is in the top half of the table and Alan Curbishley is assembling a good squad of players for a reasonable price.
High fees can be repaid with good performances, although Sergei Rebrov has been somewhat disappointing for his new club, and that is partially the reason that Booth has been brought in. Rebrov has scored seven times but has been hitting the target with a poor 44% of his shots and has looked off the pace at times. Charlton's new striker, Shaun Bartlett, has already scored three times from eight shots and is looking like a handful whenever he plays. Bartlett is currently at odds of 6/1 to open the scoring if that's how you like to spend your money.
As a team, Charlton have hit the target with 52% of their efforts, and only Arsenal can better that. That is a full eleven percentage points higher than Spurs, and with such a poor shooting accuracy it is little wonder that George Graham's men have failed to score in their last three league matches.
But on the flip side, Tottenham have at least strengthened things recently at the back and have kept the opposition at bay in those three matches.
Charlton's collective strength comes from their willingness to work for each other. The south London battlers have won an impressive 74% of their challenges, and this has stood them in very good stead this season.
With Graham's side looking tenacious in recent weeks, the prospect of a midfield maelstrom is very high. Neither side will be willing to budge, and this match looks like being very close indeed.