Southend United vs Charlton Athletic
Boxing Day football makes its way to Roots Hall as Southend United entertain Karl Robinson’s Charlton Athletic this afternoon looking to end a run of four straight defeats.
Blues’ defeat at Scunthorpe has left them having to look over their shoulder as they’re now just five points above the relegation zone having dropped into the bottom half of the table.
Today’s visitors Charlton, on the other hand, go into today’s tie in the play-off places, occupying 6th place, seven places and eight points above Phil Brown’s side.
The Addicks have been in a sticky run of form of late in the league having only picked up one league win since October and just two points from the last 15 available.
Southend United: LLLLWD
Charlton Athletic: DLLWLD
9th September 2017: Charlton Athletic (Magennis, Holmes) 2 vs 1 (White) Southend United
8th April 2017: Charlton Athletic (Holmes, Thompson OG) 2 vs 1 (White) Southend United
31st December 2016: Southend United (Cox) 1 vs 1 (Crofts) Charlton Athletic
Ryan Leonard will be back in contention after he missed the defeat to Scunthorpe through suspension after being sent off in the 2-1 defeat at home to Bradford 10 days ago.
Goalkeeper Mark Oxley is a doubt after he was forced off with a back injury at Glanford Park, meaning Nathan Bishop may make his first start for Blues between the sticks.
Midfielders Michael Timlin and Michael Kightly remain out with ankle and hamstring injuries respectively, whilst defender Rob Kiernan and goalkeeper Ted Smith are also out.
Charlton are in the midst of an injury crisis at the moment having had eight senior players missing for their 1-1 draw against Blackpool on Saturday.
To make matters worse, Leon Best limped off during the game at The Valley with a hamstring problem but Karl Robinson is hopeful of having three unnamed first-teamers back for today.
Phil Brown, Southend United Manager:
“We’ve got two home games now over the Christmas period that we need to arrest this situation. The crazy thing about the league is that nothing’s really happened in terms of our league position.
“As far as I am concerned, our next win needs to turn a corner and needs to turn a corner where the season is concerned if we’re going to do something this season.
“We’ve had two tough fixtures, we’ve got another two tough fixtures but they’re both at Roots Hall. We’ve got prepare for them in the manner in which I know we can play.”