Gillingham vs Southend United
Just over 72-hours on from their 3-3 draw in the league at the weekend, Blues return to Gillingham’s MEMS Priestfield Stadium as both sides begin their campaign in the Checkatrade Trophy.
Southend boss Phil Brown was furious with his side after letting the lead slip twice against the Gills on Saturday and he’ll be hoping to see a more ruthless Blues performance this evening.
The weekend’s draw saw Gills remain without a win this season but they at least notched their first goals of the campaign thanks to Tom Eaves’ hat-trick.
Both sides are likely to make a number of changes to their starting line-ups for this evening’s group opener, with Colchester United and Reading u21s facing off in the other game in Group B.
Southend United: DDLLWW
Last Three Encounters
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
9th August 2016: Southend United (McLaughlin) 1 vs 3 (McDonald, Emmanuel Thomas 2) Gillingham
Jason Demetriou is unavailable for Blues as he’s flown out to Cyprus ahead of their World Cup 2018 Qualifiers this week against Bosnia Herzegovina and Estonia.
That means Phil Brown will have to shuffle his pack at the back with Harry Kyprianou on hand for his first start of the season, whilst Ben Coker, Michael Turner and Rob Kiernan remain out.
Brown may also wish to freshen things up elsewhere on the pitch with youngsters Amadou Ba, Dru Yearwood and Jack Bridge possible starters having been unused subs on Saturday.
Gillingham too are likely to make changes but may wish to continue to with Liam Nash up front following his full debut for the club on Saturday.
The former Maldon & Tiptree frontman may also be joined by Steve Arnold and Ben Nugent, both of whom have yet to make their full debuts for the club having signed recently.
Simon Cox, Southend United striker;
"It will be a different game because with the rules you have to play a certain amount of players [that played the last game].
"We've got some really good young players who are chomping at the bit to get some minutes.
"It will be a different game, a different atmosphere, but a game we want to win.
"If we can win it you never know what that does to confidence. That can be a springboard for us in the league and can kick our season off."