Some storylines to look out for ahead of Blues' Emirates FA Cup Second Round tie against Barnsley...
Southend United head into this weekends fixture on a high after beating Scunthorpe United 2-0 at Roots Hall mid-week, but that's not the only thing that Blues can be pleased with as this Saturday's game marks the first time Southend will play in the Second Round of the Emirates FA Cup since 2013, five years ago!
The last time Blues progressed through the competition they went on to beat Millwall 4-1 at home before facing Hull City in the Fourth Round of the competition, unfortunately, the game ended in a 2-0 defeat, but Southend could hold their head high after facing the runners-up of the competition that year. A repeat of this could well be on the cards if Blues go on and beat Barnsley on Saturday.
We've faced Barnsley in the Emirates FA Cup a total of five times.
Barnsley currently have the historical upper hand against Blues but, having played the Tykes at Roots Hall three times we have only lost just once on home soil.
Flashback to the 2006/07 season when the two sides met in the competition and Southend drew the home fixture before taking on the Tykes two weeks later and winning the away fixture 2-0 thanks to goals from Kevin Maher and Lee Bradbury. Could history repeat itself this time?
Since the start of November, Southend have played a total of seven games, with three-midweek games included in those fixtures. The amount of games have left Chris Powell scratching his head to try and find the balance in a relatively small squad hit by injuries and suspensions.
This question will certainly be in Powell's mind leading up to Saturday's fixture and with next week also featuring a midweek and Saturday game.
Jason Demetriou is unlikely to feature haivng been subbed off against Scunthorpe with a knee problem, but Michael Turner is back from his three-game ban.
Maybe some U23s will come into matchday squad after thier 5-2 Essex Senior Cup success on Wednesday night?