Southend United vs Rochdale...
As we reach the halfway stage of the season, Southend United will be hoping to continue the festive cheer as they welcome Rochdale to Roots Hall tomorrow afternoon.
Both sides were very evenly matched last season, drawing both league games 0-0, but a win for Blues would see them pick up their first back-to-back league wins since September/October.
Dale travel to Essex off the back of a home defeat to Plymouth Argyle last weekend and, like Southend, they too have had a mixed run of form in the league and currently sit 19th in the table.
But Keith Hill’s side have picked up two more points on the road than they have at home this season, so they will no doubt pose a threat to Chris Powell’s side in Blues’ final home game of 2018.
Southend United: WLDLWL
13th March 2018: Rochdale 0 vs 0 Southend United
2nd September 2017: Southend United 0 vs 0 Rochdale
14th January 2017: Southend United (Fortune, Cox) 2 vs 1 (Andrew) Rochdale
Chris Powell has said that Saturday will likely come too soon for Harry Bunn who missed out on the win against Accrington following a thigh injury picked up against Portsmouth.
Michael Turner has trained all week having passed a late fitness test to sit on the bench last Saturday, but the Southend squad still remains threadbare due to a spate of injuries.
Blues continue to be without Tom Hopper, Ben Coker, Sam Barratt, Harry Kyprianou, Harry Lennon and Jason Demetriou who all remain unavailable due to various injuries.
Rochdale have no fresh injury concerns in their squad following last weekend’s defeat to Plymouth Argyle at the Crown Oil Arena.
Captain Ian Henderson will pose Dale’s main threat having already scored 13 goals this campaign despite recently being deployed in midfield rather than as a striker.
Chris Powell, Southend United Manager:
“We’re all looking forward to Rochdale, focusing on the game and making sure no one gets any knocks in training this week. We want to follow up the result against Stanley and hopefully another three points against Rochdale.
“If you look at us now we’re 12th in the league, we’ve scored 28 goals and we’ve conceded 28 so we are right in the middle, I actually think that does sum us up this season.
“We’ve had some great results, some poor results, we’ve had some good wins and we’ve also had some poor defeats, it really has been right in the middle of the road for us.”