Southend United vs Wycombe Wanderers...
Mention Southend and Wycombe and it’ll no doubt conjure up memories of that day back in 2015 when Blues gained a dramatic promotion to League One via a penalty shoot-out at Wembley.
Fast forward four years and now both sides meet again in another huge clash, although this time the prize on offer is a potentially vital three points to help aid their respective survival hopes.
Blues dropped into the relegation zone during the week thanks to Rochdale’s win over Accrington but a win over The Chairboys for Southend would see them leapfrog Wycombe out of the drop zone.
Kevin Bond’s side will have been boosted by last week’s positive result away at Fleetwood and Bond will be hoping for a happy homecoming as he makes his first Roots Hall appearance as manager.
Southend United: DLLLLD
Wycombe Wanderers: LLLLLD
29th September 2018: Wycombe Wanderers (Mackail-Smith, Akinfenwa) 2 vs 3 (Robinson, Hopper, Cox) Southend United
23rd May 2015: Southend United (Pigott) 1 vs 1 (Bentley OG) Wycombe Wanderers (7-6 Pens)
7th March 2015: Southend United (Corr 2) 2 vs 2 (Craig, Mawson) Wycombe Wanderers
Stephen Humphrys will be pushing for his first start for Blues since picking up a facial injury in mid-February after he made a return from the bench last weekend against Fleetwood.
Harry Bunn faces a race to be fit after the midfielder was forced off with a hamstring problem last weekend, while another midfielder Luke Hyam is also a doubt.
He and defender Jason Demetriou are both nursing knocks and will be assessed ahead of Saturday while Stephen McLaughlin is a certain absentee as he continues to recover from a calf problem.
Wycombe will hope to have Nathan Tyson and loanee Luke Bolton available for the weekend after the midweek game against Charlton came too soon for the returning pair.
Matt Bloomfield was another one who was forced to miss out against the Addicks after picking up an injury against Portsmouth and will be assessed ahead of the trip to Essex.
Kevin Bond, Southend United Manager:
“We just know that it’s going to be one almighty battle. I saw Wycombe play on Tuesday night and they were tremendously committed, they gave everything they had in terms of effort and endeavour and as a result of that their supporters stayed with them till the very last minute of the game.
“They were undone by a little bit of quality on the night but kept going right until the very end. They do carry real threats as well but have similarly found it very difficult to win recently, but make no mistake they are a very live danger.
“First of all, we need to match them on the basics otherwise we will come up short.”
Gareth Ainsworth, Wycombe Wanderers Manager:
“The boys believe that if they keep playing this way, it will be enough to stay up, and I’m not going to burst their bubble because I agree.
“We’ve got momentum with the performances we’ve been putting in, but we just need to take every opportunity now.
“I’d love us to play well and deserve our victories, but equally I’d just love us to get the wins we need, however they come. You want to deserve what you get, but we haven’t been getting what we deserve.”