Wednesday make their first trip to Roots Hall for 23 years with the hope of picking up a valuable three points on the road for the second consecutive time this season.
The Owls have never won at the Essex club and will be hoping the return of key players such as Brad Jones and Marcus Tudgay will fire them up the table in what is sure to be a tough test against the newly-promoted club – who’ve already beaten Sunderland at home this season.
Paul Sturrock told SWFC.co.uk:
‘They’re a very difficult team to play against there. Their home record is second to none over the last two or three seasons. But we’ve started away from home very well too. We’ve won one and drawn one at difficult places to go.
‘The last two teams that have played Southend there have been very open in their performance. They probably haven’t given them the respect they merit. Rest assured, we will give them that respect.’
Southend United Team News:
Defender Efe Sodje is pushing hard for a recall to the Shrimpers first team after successfully coming through 90 minutes of reserve team action against Northampton Town in midweek. The former Huddersfield and Crewe defender injured his ankle towards the end of last season and is desperate for a starting place against the Owls on Saturday.
Meanwhile, former Leeds United striker Michael Ricketts is unlikely to be included in Steve Tilson’s 16 to face Wednesday on Saturday. The former Cardiff and Middlesbrough man played 45 minutes for the reserve team in midweek but is still rated as being a few weeks from first team action.
Winger Mark Gower is set to return to boost Southend’s attacking options. The former Spurs trainee has been sidelined for the Shrimpers since the 1-0 defeat at Leicester City last month.
New signing Matt Harold could also feature for Tilson’s men after signing for the Essex club on deadline day from Yeovil. Harold could be set to partner main man Freddie Eastwood in the Southend attack.
Player to watch: 10 – Freddie Eastwood
Eastwood made an immediate impact of the Southend fans after scoring after just seven seconds on his debut before going on to wrap up his hat-trick in their 4-2 victory over Swansea City. Eastwood signed for the Shrimpers in the summer of 2004 from Grays Athletic and was a former West Ham United trainee. Eastwood has been by far and away their top scorer since his arrival at the club and has been scouted by a number of Premiership and Championship clubs.
Wednesday Team News:
Owls boss Paul Sturrock will be able to select Brad Jones in goal after the Boro’ stopper’s red card picked up against Leeds United was overturned by the FA last week.
Deon Burton continued his comeback from injury over the two week break and should almost be back to full fitness for the trip south. And he could be partnered by Marcus Tudgay who made a welcome return to action in midweek by netting the winner in the reserve clash with Walsall.
Midfielder Steve Adams could also be in line for a shock call-up for the first team after competing for the reserves in midweek. The former Plymouth man has seen his Hillsborough career blighted by injury since his arrival and will want to repay his boss whose had full faith in him. Loanee Lloyd Sam is set to continue on the left wing.
Hitman Barry Corr is also close to full fitness but may miss out in a place in the squad wih the Owls facing three games in six days next week.
But the Owls are still missing Steve Maclean, Yoann Folly, Peter Gilbert, Richard Wood, Drew Talbot and Wade Small through injury.
Player to watch: 5 – Graham Coughlan
Southend United may be the new boys to the Championship but the Shrimpers will be relying heavily on their form at Roots Hall this season to see them remain in the Championship next season. Strike Freddie Eastwood will be the key man for the hosts but if Graham Coughlan can keep him at bay the Owls will have a great chance of coming away with some pointage.
Match Facts & Stats
Last Time Out:
WEDNESDAY 2-0 Southend United
13/02/1993 – Hillsborough (FA Cup)
The two teams last met over 23 years ago and it was a victory for the Owls in the FA Cup as they overcame their Essex rivals 2-0. The Southend side contained a certain Stan Colleymore alongside current defender Spencxior Prior and manager Steve Tilson – occupying a place on the bench! Paul Warhurst did the damage for the Owls with a goal either side of half-time in this FA Cup fifth round clash.
SUFC wins: 2
SWFC wins: 5
Southend: Flahavan, Francis, Barrett, Clarke, Hammell, Gower (Cole 36), Maher, Guttridge, Campbell-Ryce (Lawson 84), Eastwood, Paynter (Prior 84).
Subs Not Used: Collis, Hunt.
Wednesday: Jones, Coughlan, Simek, Bougherra, Spurr, Hills (Adamson 68), Whelan, O’Brien, Brunt (Lunt 82), Sam (Bullen 76), Burton.
Subs Not Used: McClements, McAllister.
-Taken from www.bet365.com-
SUFC Win: 1/1
SWFC Win: 5/2
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Birmingham City v Hull City
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Coventry City v Norwich City
Derby v Sunderland
Ipswich Town v Southampton
Luton Town v Palace
Plymouth v QPR
Preston NE v Cardiff City
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