Southend United vs Portsmouth...
Southend United take on Kenny Jackett’s Portsmouth in front of the Sky Sports cameras tomorrow afternoon in a match both sides are desperate to win for differing reasons.
Blues are without a win in their last four and are just six points from the drop zone, so a win against Pompey will help prevent Chris Powell’s side potentially being drawn into a relegation scrap.
Pompey though are fighting for automatic promotion to the Championship, but their chances have been hit by a run of five league games without a win, picking up just two points from 15 available.
And having been beaten by Pompey twice already this season, once in the league and once in the Checkatrade Trophy, Blues will be hoping it’ll be a case of third time lucky Saturday afternoon.
Southend United: LDLLWL
8th January 2019: Southend United 0 vs 2 (Dennis, Evans) Portsmouth
8th December 2018: Portsmouth (Turner OG, Lowe) 2 vs 0 Southend United
17th February 2018: Southend (Clarke OG, Demetriou 2) 3 vs 1 (Evans) Portsmouth
Defender John White has been ruled out of Saturday’s clash after picking up an injury in the abdomen/groin area on Tuesday night against Doncaster Rovers.
That opens the door for Michael Turner or Harry Lennon to slot in, with Turner the most likely option as Lennon has yet to get any minutes under his belt since returning from injury.
Blues continue to be without a whole raft of players who remain on the treatment table, while midfielder Dru Yearwood remains absent as he serves the second of a three-game suspension.
Portsmouth will be without Dion Donohue as he continues to recover from an ankle problem, while midfielder Andy Cannon and goalkeeper Luke McGee close in on a return.
Tom Naylor is suspended after picking up a two-game ban against Doncaster, while on-loan Barnsley winger Lloyd Isgrove is available again after he missed the trip to Plymouth with a knee injury.
Chris Powell, Southend United Manager:
“We’re coming up against a side which are much fancied but haven’t got the results they would like recently.
“In front of the Sky cameras anything can happen, and we know the atmosphere will be good, that’s for certain, so we need to go out there and do our best to put it in our favour.
“I know Kenny and he knows what the game is about, and his squad certainly do. He’s got some good options. He’s fashioned a squad that are obviously trying to be in the top two, that’s their aim.”
Kenny Jackett, Portsmouth Manager:
“We’re comfortable that we can beat the best in the division, but every side in the league will have their own reasons for wanting to do well.
“Southend have got a lot of very good players and an experienced manager, so they’ll be doing everything they can to win this game.
“While we know about their strengths and weaknesses, I’m more concerned that we play to our potential and that we can get the most out of our squad.”