Continuing our look at every opponent by taking a glance at Crewe Alexandra.
Next up in our preview of every team we'll be facing in Sky Bet League 1 during the 2015-16 season is Crewe Alexandra...
Who are this lot then?
Crewe Alexandra are renowned for bringing through exciting young talent. Both Nick Powell and Ashley Westwood are two of these who are currently playing for Premier League clubs – Manchester United and Aston Villa respectively – after coming through the ranks with the Railwaymen. Others to have come through the Crewe production line include Dean Ashton, Danny Murphy and Robbie Savage.
Did they get up to much last season?
It was a season of struggle for Steve Davis' men throughout and they survived through results going their way on the last day of the season. Lacking consistency throughout, the Alex won 14 games in the League, finishing in 20th place and with the second worst goal difference in the division.
Who's the boss?
Steve Davis has been in charge of the Alex for quite a while now, taking over in 2011. He led the Alex to promotion to League 1 in his first season in charge, before winning the JPT the following campaign – winning against Blues in the Final at Wembley. Managed in non-league prior to pitching up at Gresty Road and during his playing days represented the Alex, Burnley, Barnsley and Oxford United amongst others.
Any stand out players?
Brad Inman is capable of turning a game when he's on form, and the ex- Newcastle United is a former Scotland under-21 man. Born in Australia, Inman began with Modbury Jets before coming over to England to sign for Newcastle United in 2007. He graduated the youth system two years later but during four years as a professional with the Magpies, didn't make an appearance for the club. He spent part of the 2012-13 season on loan at Crewe before the move was made permanent in 2013.
Anthony Grant has played for both the Blues and the Railwaymen and was a regular for Crewe last season in League 1. Lee Barnard spent time on loan at Gresty Road earlier in his career before taking in his two spells at Roots Hall with us. Andy Sussex and Efe Sodje are a couple of others to have represented both the Blues and the Reds.
What's the ground like?
Crewe's home since 1906, Gresty Road has a capacity of over 10,000 and is an all-seater stadium. Blues fans will be housed in the Whitby Morrison Ice Cream Vans Stand for the visit and that holds over 1,000 spectators.
How far away is the place?
A journey to Crewe is an 408-mile round trip for Blues fans leaving from Southend.
Any big name fans?
Local band Dario G were named exactly that in honour of legendary former Crewe manager Dario Gradi. Michael Crawford – who played Frank Spencer in Some Mothers Do 'Ave 'Em – is a fan of the Alex
Good memories against them?
Southend United wins: 19
Crewe Alexandra wins: 11
Although we have the upper hand with the overall record against Crewe, we've only beaten them twice in the last eight meetings, with the Alex earning a play-off Final place and the JPT crown in the last two games between the two.
What are the odds on that?
Crewe Alexandra are priced at 40/1 with Sky Bet to earn promotion from Sky Bet League 1 in 2015-16.