Luton Town vs Southend United
Southend United will attempt to make it to the last 16 of the Checkatrade Trophy this evening as they go up against Luton Town at Kenilworth Road.
Having been knocked out of the Emirates FA Cup by Barnsley at the weekend, the Checkatrade Trophy represents the last chance at cup success for Chris Powell’s side.
But for Blues to reach the next round of the competition they’ll need to reverse a miserable record at Luton which dates back over 50 years, with Southend’s last win there coming in 1964.
And they face a tough ask against a Luton side who are riding high in League One this season and have already beaten Southend at home back in August.
Luton Town: WWWWLW
Southend United: LWLWLW
21st August 2018: Luton Town (Lee, Hylton) 2 vs 0 Southend United
25th April 2015: Southend United (Timlin) 1 vs 0 Luton Town
11th October 2014: Luton Town (Lawless, Cullen) 2 vs 0 Southend United
Southend’s ever-growing injury-list continues to find new additions with Jason Demetriou the latest to join the list of long-term absentees having had surgery on a knee injury this week.
The Cypriot is expected the be out for 6-8 weeks according to Blues boss Chris Powell and joins Tom Hopper, Ben Coker, Sam Barratt, Harry Kyprianou and Harry Lennon all on the sidelines.
Elvis Bwomono will fill in at right-back for the injured Demetriou with Luke Hyam likely to feature as Powell eases the former Ipswich Town midfielder back into regular first-team football.
Simon Cox, meanwhile, is also out of the tie with a knock from Saturday's defeat to Barnsley, and Powell hinted there were one or two others who were 50/50.
Luton have named an unchanged side for all of their last three matches in league and cup but will likely freshen up the side for the visit of Southend.
Danny Hylton, who scored against Blues in the league game between the two sides, is likely to feature up front with backup goalkeeper Marek Stech expected to be between the sticks.
Chris Powell, Southend United Manager:
“It’s a one-off game. They’re going pretty well. We’ve got to galvanise ourselves, we’ve got to use young players. We’ve got some good ones and they’re going to have to step up, but if not we’re going to have to help them. We’ve got to do our best to get a result because it’s the game we’re in and the game we all love.
Nathan Jones, Luton Town Manager:
"We're looking very strong squad wise, we're not that far off a full squad to pick from. Alan McCormack is the only one that is out. So we have got a good squad to choose from which is really good really, because we have got some tough games coming up, Christmas fixtures coming up.
"Every competition we enter we look to make progress, playing the right way, the team, everything we do. It's another good test against a Chris Powell side who are a very difficult side to play against, it'll be a real tough game."