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Storylines: Southend vs Southampton U21's

14 November 2018

Some storylines to look out for ahead of the final Checkatrade Trophy group game against Southampton U21's.

Tonight's Checkatrade Trophy group game is a very interesting fixture with everything to play for once that whistle blows at 7:45pm and that is due to both teams being level on points. (3 points from 2 games.)

Last night Cambridge beat Colchester 3-1 in their final group game and the end of that result means that Joe Dunne's side currently sit top of the group and have qualified for the next round, but tonight's result will decide who takes top spot and who finishes second, therefore who will have a home game in the next round and who will play away.

This evenings fixture is just one of five upcoming games that Chris Powell's side will have to play in the next 14 days and that means that team selection is crucial for both the result and player recovery. But Powell has said that his team have 'more than enough in the tank to deal with it'.

The Checkatrade Trophy has already provided 18 players in the squad with the opportunity to play and with so many close fixtures and some injuries in the squad it could mean more young players are brouhgt into the fold. Will we see a debut handed out in order to rest one or two individuals.

Isaac Hutchinson was one of the U23s that took his chance against Cambridge on his first-team bow. Within 53 seconds he bagged his first professional goal for Blues. The chance that Powell took with Hutchinson could well repeat itself tonight if another Youth Team member is selected for the game, which in turn will help the gaffer with selections in the coming days.

Southampton U21's boss Radhi Jaidi was a fond name at St Mary's Stadium during his playing days and the former Tunisian centre-back is now Head Coach. It wasn't that long ago he actually went on to win this very competition with the Saints, back in 2010.

This experience that Jaidi brings into the competition will be vital for his side as he will no doubt look to put that winning team mentality that won him the cup into his youth side.

Blues will have to watch out for the Southampton U21's side tonight who will be looking to progress into the next round just as much as Southend will be.


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