Southend United vs Doncaster Rovers
Southend will be hoping to banish the memory of last weekend’s 3-0 defeat to Walsall when Doncaster visit Roots Hall, and as well the disappointing performance at the Keepmoat last year.
Blues boss Chris Powell said he learnt more about his side in defeat, and come kick-off on Saturday, will be expecting a response.
Doncaster weren’t in action last weekend so whether the weekend off has an adverse effect on them will be determined at full time.
Darren Ferguson’s side may still be hurting from their late defeat to Rotherham last time out but they have happy memories from the reverse fixture in October, and a few of the majority of recent meetings between the two sides.
Southend United: LWDWWW
Doncaster Rovers: LWLDDL
7th October 2017: Doncaster (Marquis, Whiteman x3) 4-1 Southend (Wordsworth)
2nd January 2016: Southend 0-3 Doncaster (Williams, Sinclair, Tyson)
19th August 2015: Doncaster 0-0 Southend
Chris Powell has been pleased to welcome back some injury lay-offs over the past few weeks, and ahead of Saturday he was delighted to be able to boast a near fully-fit squad.
John White, Ted Smith and Rob Kiernan remain are the only first team absentees, meaning Michael Kightly, Anthony Wordsworth and Josh Wright will all be pushing for starts.
In contrast, Ferguson has had to battle but a long list of injuries this season, and many of them long-term problems.
The Rovers boss will, though, welcome Andy Williams back into the squad having been out since November.
Luke McCullough will also return to the squad after missing the trip to Rotherham but Andy Butler, Issam Ben Khemis, Alfie Beestin and Danny Andrew remain out.
Chris Powell, Southend United Manager:
“I don’t know what their build-up has been like but we know we’re going to be in for a difficult game.
“I’m finding out pretty quickly after these six games that, it doesn’t matter who you play, you’ve got to be ready. We’ve done it to other teams.
“We’ll be right for the game and once that whistle blows it’s up to the players to show what they’re about.”
Darren Ferguson, Doncaster Rovers Manager:
“Southend are in great form at the moment, they’re a much-improved side, Chris Powell has gone in and they are very organised, it’s been a fantastic start for them under him,” he said.
“It’ll be a tough one, they’ve got a lot of Premier League experience in that side and they know how to play in terms of their shape, the pitch isn’t great and that could be a factor in the game.”