If Charlton win, they will draw three points clear of Rovers, whose game in hand (against Manchester United) will suddenly seem even less comforting than it already is. If Rovers win, it is they who will draw clear. Charlton will be left knowing not only that they have to come away with something from both of their last matches, but also that they will be relying on other results going their way. Should the match be drawn - perhaps the likeliest outcome on paper - both sides could suffer, especially if Southampton win today and leapfrog them both.
Brian Kidd's first game in charge of Blackburn was a 1-0 win against Charlton at Ewood Park in December. It was the start of a mini revival for the Lancastrians but they have been unable to keep up the momentum. Charlton's manager, Alan Curbishley, said: "This is a game we must win. We haven't done enough at The Valley in terms of results, which is a shame." The Addicks will have a full-strength squad, including Richard Rufus, who should have started a four-match ban today but the red card he collected against Leeds a fortnight ago has been quashed. Goalkeeper Simon Royce is fit again and could return in goal in place of Andy Petterson.
Blackburn's Matt Jansen has made a return to training less than three weeks after a knee cartilage operation and may return. Stephane Henchoz (groin), Keith Gillespie (ankle), Damien Johnson (leg) and Lee Carsley (ankle) will all have fitness tests.
CHARLTON ATHLETIC (from): Petterson, Powell, Brown, Youds, Mills, Tiler, Rufus, Barnes, Bowen, Kinsella, Redfearn, Hunt, Pringle, Bright, Stuart, K Jones, S Jones, Mortimer, Konchesky, Parker, Barness, Salmon.
BLACKBURN ROVERS (from): Filan, McAteer, Henchoz, Peacock, Broomes, Taylor, Davidson, Croft, Gillespie, Johnson, Dunn, Carsley, Marcolin, Wilcox, Duff, Ward, Gallacher, Davis, Jansen, Flowers.
Suspensions: None. Referee: P Durkin.Reuse content