Southend United vs Gillingham
Blues welcome Gillingham to Roots Hall this afternoon with both teams looking to bounce back from defeats in the first of their two fixtures this Easter Bank Holiday weekend.
Chris Powell’s side were soundly beaten 4-0 at Home Park by Plymouth Argyle on Good Friday while Gills suffered a 2-1 reversal at home to relegation-threatened MK Dons the night before.
The extra day’s rest combined with the short amount of travelling may well prove an advantage for Gillingham who will be looking to leapfrog Southend in the table with a win.
The visitors will also take solace from the fact that they are unbeaten in the last nine meetings between them and Blues, with Southend’s last victory against Gillingham coming in 2012.
Southend United: LWDDDL
29th August 2017: Gillingham (Parker, Ferdinand OG) 2 vs 1 (McLaughlin) Southend United
26th August 2017: Gillingham (Eaves 3) 3 vs 3 (Leonard, Kightly, Cox) Southend United
25th February 2017: Gillingham (Wright 2) 2 vs 1 (Ranger) Southend United
Blues came through the defeat at Plymouth without any fresh injury concerns although boss Chris Powell may look to shuffle his pack for the visit of Gillingham.
Michael Kightly and Theo Robinson both came off the bench and will be pressing for a start, as will former Gillingham captain Josh Wright who also made an appearance against Argyle.
Rob Kiernan and Ted Smith remain the only two absentees for Southend who otherwise have a number of options for Powell to choose from.
Gillingham boss Steve Lovell has been given a selection headache after Navid Nasseri scored on his full-debut on Thursday night.
The youngster will battle it out with Lee Martin – who missed the game through illness – for a place in the starting 11 while Callum Reilly, Osman Sow, Josh Tymon and Marcus Tavernier are all out.
Chris Powell, Southend United Manager:
“We’ve got another game now, almost a local derby, and there’s a lot of links between the two clubs. We’ve just got to move on from it very quickly today.
“Whatever 11 goes out there, whatever 11 kicks off at 3 o’clock they’ve got to be right. We’ve got to bounce back and bounce back quickly, they always do that.
“We’ve only had one set back before that today and we had a positive result after it, we’ve got to do the same again come Monday.”
Steve Lovell, Gillingham Manager:
“It’s a local derby, it’s a tough game and it’ll be a good atmosphere.
“It’s disappointing to be going there on the back of two defeats but we’ve got to pick ourselves up and be positive for Monday.
“We’ve got to get back to that lovely feeling that you get when you win games.”