Bradford City vs Southend United
Blues face their final away trip of the season tomorrow afternoon as they make the journey to Yorkshire to take on Bradford City at Valley Parade in their penultimate League One fixture.
Confidence in the Southend camp will be high after back-to-back wins which included a rare away win at Oldham on Tuesday night, Blues’ first away maximum since February.
For Bradford, a season of promise completely fizzled out after an alarming run of form mid-season saw them slide down the table and out of contention for the play-offs.
But two wins and two draws in their last four have seen the Bantams climb back into the top 10, the position Southend will be eyeing knowing a win will see them leapfrog Simon Grayson’s side.
Bradford City: WDWDLL
Southend United: WWLLWL
16th December 2017: Southend United (Ranger) 1 vs 2 (Poleon, Wyke) Bradford City
19th November 2016: Southend United (Atkinson 2, Vincelot OG) 3 vs 0 Bradford City
18th October 2016: Bradford City (McNulty) 1 vs 1 (Wordsworth) Southend United
Chris Powell is expected to name the same backline as he did in the midweek win against Oldham with defenders Anton Ferdinand, Michael Turner and Ben Coker all still unavailable.
That will allow youngsters Elvis Bwomono and Harry Kyprianou another chance to impress while fellow academy graduates Miles Mitchell-Nelson and Lewis Gard are also likely to travel.
Anthony Wordsworth and Michael Timlin have had their chances of playing against Bradford described as ‘slim’ with Josh Wright, Ted Smith and Rob Kiernan all still out.
Tyrell Robinson is likely to miss out for Bradford having missed the last two games after being stretchered off against Portsmouth a week and a half ago.
Callum Guy, who missed last weekend’s draw with Rochdale, returned to the starting line-up in mid-week against MK Dons and he’ll be looking to retain his place.
Chris Powell, Southend United Manager:
“I know Simon [Grayson] and he’s been very, very successful at this level because he knows what it takes and, like any manager, he’s gone in and he’s trying to ascertain exactly what he’s got.
“They’ve played three at the back, they’ve played all sorts of different systems, had a few injuries to key players but they’ve now settled down and they’re a side that will put us under pressure.
“They’ve got some players in key areas that can hurt you, so we’ll have to deal with that, but equally we’re going to have to put them under pressure and carry on from where we left off on Tuesday.”