Rochdale vs Southend United
Blues are back in action this evening as they travel up to Rochdale for the second time this season after the original game back in January was postponed due to a waterlogged pitch.
The Dale have since had their pitch at the Crown Oil Arena re-laid after a number of postponements and they’ve drawn both matches on the new surface so far against MK Dons and Tottenham Hotspur.
Southend themselves have had pitch issues so may be quite happy that their next two games are away from home and they’ll be looking to build on Saturday’s draw with Doncaster.
Their hosts though will be glad to be home after four successive away games and they go into this one having won their last two matches on the road at Walsall and Rotherham without conceding.
Southend United: DLWDWW
2nd September 2017: Southend United 0 vs 0 Rochdale
14th January 2017: Southend United (Fortune, Cox) 2 vs 1 (Andrew) Rochdale
8th October 2016: Rochdale (Canavan, Andrew, Mendez-Laing) 3 vs 0 Southend United
With tonight the first of two long away trips for Blues and the second game in a three-game week, Chris Powell may look to mix things up a bit for the trip to Rochdale.
Anthony Wordsworth returned to the side at the weekend having been out for a number of weeks with a calf injury so he may be brought into the midfield by Powell.
Blues will also need to assess the fitness of striker Simon Cox after he appeared to jar his knee before the interval against Doncaster and was subsequently substituted just after the hour mark.
Rochdale boss Keith Hill will likely stick with the same starting 11 which started their previous two outings against Walsall and Rotherham, both of which the Dale won.
Those though certain to be missing for the home side will be Niall Canavan and Keith Keane who continue their recoveries from ankle and groin injuries respectively.
Chris Powell, Southend United Manager:
“We’re starting to see a lot of what I want on a regular basis but with Rochdale and Blackpool coming up we have to be ready and determined to carry on in the same way.
“Rochdale shouldn’t be where they are. Keith is a manager who has done well wherever he’s gone and has a good way of managing. I like him and he speaks his mind.
“You kind of want to freshen it because you want energy. We have three games in a week and have two mammoth trips. It’s not easy but I was us to be right and ready by kick-off.”
Keith Hill, Rochdale Manager:
“We’re looking forward to getting back on home turf on Tuesday night. The supporters on Saturday were magnificent and when we go to our home ground, there can’t be any anxiety brought to the players.
“The Dale fans at Rotherham were amazing – they were absolutely superb. The acoustics in the stadium are superb but all I could hear was our supporters.
“On Tuesday, and over the next three home games, they have to make sure that they support our cause and donate positivity.”