Bradford City vs Southend United
Chris Powell’s Blues travel to Yorkshire this weekend to take on Bradford City at the Northern Commercials Stadium with eyes on a league double over the Bantams.
Southend won the reverse fixture against Bradford 2-0 and will be hoping for the same scoreline again tomorrow afternoon, which would be a repeat of their last visit to Bradford back in April.
But they come up against a Bradford side who have found some form recently, winning four of their last six league games to help ease their relegation fears.
Bradford still sit in the relegation zone, one point off safety, but they’ll be keen to return to winning ways with a fifth straight home win after last weekend’s 3-0 defeat to Barnsley at Oakwell.
Bradford City: LWWLWW
Southend United: LLWLWL
18th August 2018: Southend United (Hopper, Cox) 2 vs 0 Bradford City
28th April 2018: Bradford City 0 vs 2 (White, Fortune) Southend United
16th December 2017: Southend United (Ranger) 1 vs 2 (Poleon, Wyke) Bradford City
Blues’ first signing of the January transfer window, Sam Hart, will go straight into the squad to face the Bantams and provide a much-needed boost to Chris Powell’s side.
Powell is also hopeful that Taylor Moore will be available again after he returned to training this week following a hamstring injury that saw him miss out last weekend.
Fellow defenders Harry Lennon and Jason Demetriou are continuing their recoveries but are unlikely to feature this month, while goalkeeper Mark Oxley remains out with a back problem.
Bradford will have new signing Jermaine Anderson available after the midfielder joined this week on loan from Peterborough United until the end of the season.
Adam Chicksen is unavailable as he serves the first of a two-game ban, with Sean Scannell and Kevin Mellor out long-term with back and knee injuries respectively.
Chris Powell, Southend United Manager:
"They’ve got some results since David [Hopkin] has come in and quietly gone about his business. It was very tough at the start but of course that happens through the changes, but ultimately you have to do your best on the field and they have got some results and performances of late.
"We have to contend with them and be ready for them. Like all games at this level you have to be ready to compete and stake a claim to try and win the game.
"They’re very direct and they will put it on us. We’ve been working on that. I got my anger from the Plymouth game out the way on Monday because I didn’t want it lingering. We started our work on Tuesday and we know what we’re coming up against. We’re facing a player everyone knows well in Jack Payne and we’ll have to do our best to deal with what they will throw at us to win the game.
"We did well there last year and it’ll be good for us to emulate that result from Valley Parade last year."
David Hopkin, Bradford City Manager:
“We need to make sure we are fully focused and I’m sure we’ll bounce back from the defeat.
“It’s going to be hard now to push on. We can’t rest because we had a December when we won a few games.
“We need to win a few games every month between now and the end of the season to make sure we’re still in League One.”