Southend United vs Charlton Athletic...
Southend United return to Roots Hall for the first of three successive home games tomorrow afternoon as they welcome Chris Powell’s former club Charlton Athletic.
It’ll be the first time Powell has faced the Addicks since taking the reigns at Southend and he’ll be on the lookout for back-to-back victories for the first time this campaign.
Lee Bowyer’s side head to Roots Hall with just the one win so far this season and without a win in their last four matches, following last weekend’s 0-0 draw at home to Fleetwood.
But a win for the visitors tomorrow – which would be Charlton’s first in the League at Roots Hall since 2010 – would see them leapfrog Blues in the early season standings.
Southend United: WLWLDL
Charlton Athletic: DLDLWL
26th December 2017: Southend United (Cox 2, Turner) 3 vs 1 (Reeves) Charlton Athletic
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
Chris Powell faces a selection headache in midfield with Sam Barratt, Luke Hyam and Dru Yearwood all out, while Sam Mantom and Timothee Dieng are in a race to be fit for the weekend.
Michael Klass is Southend’s only recognised central midfielder available meaning Jason Demetriou may be required to play in the middle for the second successive game.
Defender Harry Lennon will miss facing his former club as he continues to recover from a broken toe, but Harry Bunn may feature for the first time having joined on loan from Bury.
Powell’s opposite number Lee Bowyer doesn’t have quite so many injury concerns and he’s hoping to welcome back Tariqe Fosu and Ben Reeves into the fold on Saturday.
There may also be a debut for Josh Cullen, the midfielder who the Addicks brought in on a season-long loan from West Ham United yesterday.
Chris Powell, Southend United Manager:
“It’s another game that I want us to carry on from where we left off last week.
“There will be a healthy crowd and I would think a healthy away support. They’ve started off well, although I’m sure Lee would’ve wanted a few more points; but they’ve had some tricky games to be fair.
“It’s all about us on Saturday and playing the way we did against Bradford in our last home game, but also bringing the qualities that we showed last week in a resilient performance away at Bristol Rovers.”
Lee Bowyer, Charlton Athletic Caretaker Manager:
“Every game we go into we look to win. It's going to be tough - Chris Powell, obviously, was here and did well here.
“He's had some good results with Southend and did well at the back end of last season but it's going to be tough and physical, like most games in this league.
“Whatever they throw at us I'm sure we will cope with that and it's what we do in possession and the final third which is most important to me because that's where we need to improve."