Midfielder Michael Timlin will make a surprise start against Accrington Stanley this afternoon.
The former Swindon Town player has missed all of Southend’s pre-season matches after picking up a shoulder injury at the end of last season.
But now Timlin will line-up alongside Kane Ferdinand in the centre of midfield.
Meanwhile, Blues will also hand a debut to new loan signing Britt Assombalonga.
The Watford striker will start in attack alongside Gavin Tomlin who returns following an ankle injury.
However, striker Freddy Eastwood is not involved after pulling a calf muscle in training on Thursday. New signing John Spicer starts on the bench as does Neil Harris who passed a late fitness test after calf injury.
Southend: Belford, Clohessy, Hall, Timlin, Ferdinand, Phillips, Prosser, Leonard, Assombalonga, Tomlin, Barker.
Subs: Straker, Cresswell, Spicer, Hurst, Harris, Bentley, Benyon.