Southend United vs Shrewsbury Town..
Blues begin life after Chris Powell with a huge six-pointer at Roots Hall as Shrewsbury Town visit Essex with both sides in desperate need of a win.
Southend will be looking to end their 11-game winless run and avoid a club record 12th home defeat of the season as Blues sit precariously above the drop zone with seven games remaining.
After coming so close to promotion to the Championship last season, it’s been a tough campaign for Shrewsbury this time around and they too find themselves in the thick of the relegation battle.
The Salop sit just a point above Blues in the table, but they’ll fancy their chances of picking up a huge three points having been unbeaten against Southend in the pair’s last five meetings.
Southend United: LLLDLD
Shrewsbury Town: LWLLDW
15th September 2018: Shrewsbury Town (Docherty, Angol) 2 vs 0 Southend United
30th December 2017: Southend United (Leonard) 1 vs 2 (Coker OG, Godfrey) Shrewsbury Town
12th September 2017: Shrewsbury Town (Nolan) 1 vs 0 Southend United
Blues striker Simon Cox is touch and go for the weekend having limped off with an ankle injury during last weekend’s defeat to Peterborough United.
If Cox is absent, that’ll leave Southend without a senior striking option as Stephen Humphrys and Tom Hopper continue to recover from facial and knee injuries respectively.
Caretaker boss Ricky Duncan though will be boosted by Jason Demetriou’s return from international duty, while Blues await news on whether Harry Lennon has recovered from a groin problem.
Shrewsbury are expected to be without goalkeeper Steve Arnold after the custodian picked up a hamstring injury in the Salop’s home defeat to Portsmouth last time out.
The Shrews will also be assessing a number of other key players who have picked up knocks this week, including James Bolton, Ollie Norburn and top-scorer Fejri Okenabirhie.
Ricky Duncan, Southend United Caretaker Manager:
“The players have been fantastic and the work ethic they’ve put in so far will carry through into Saturday.
“I think every game is a big game, full stop.
“We put too much emphasis on big games because I think every game is a big game. Every game on a Saturday, every game for the youth team, the U15s, U16s. Every game is a big game and we want to go out and try and win that game.”
Sam Ricketts, Shrewsbury Town Manager:
“We have tried to keep the intensity high. That’s what we tried to bring to the game on Saturday. We wanted to get that determination and general pressure really and we wanted to keep that high.
“It’s another opportunity for us away from home. It’s a big game for us and we have to make sure we are ready for the challenges that we may face.
“We have to try and match the performance from that game, and the more we can do that the better chance we have.”