Southend United vs Oxford United...
Southend United return to league action tomorrow afternoon as Blues entertain Karl Robinson’s free-scoring Oxford United at Roots Hall.
Following a 10-day break, Sol Campbell’s Blues should be fresh and chomping at the bit to get back into action following their 3-1 win over AFC Wimbledon in the EFL Trophy.
That victory was Campbell’s first as Southend boss and provided everyone at the club a big lift, and something Campbell and his team hope to build upon as they go in search of vital league points.
As mentioned, Blues’ last foray saw them defeat AFC Wimbledon in the EFL Trophy, providing boss Sol Campbell with his first win as Southend boss following a tough start to his tenure.
Blues though are without a win in their last eight league matches, having only picked up a point in that time, with their last league win coming in September against MK Dons.
Oxford United, on the other hand, have the second-best attack in the division and are unbeaten in their last nine league games, which has put them within a point of the top-six.
Wednesday 26th December 2018
Oxford United 0-1 Southend United
Michael Kightly marked his return to the Blues starting line up by scoring the winner at the Kassam Stadium as Southend won 1-0 away at Oxford United.
In a scrappy contest that rarely went above boiling point, the midfielder nodded in a cross from Theo Robinson with 11 minutes to play to earn Southend a vital three points.
Blues Team News
Despite a long break from competitive action, Blues still have a number of players out through injury with the likes of Luke Hyam, Sam Mantom and Charlie Kelman still on the sidelines.
Stephen Humphrys is another absentee that’s expected to be out at least a couple more weeks while Jason Demetriou’s lack of day-to-day training may harm his chances of a starting spot.
Harry Lennon remains unavailable due to disciplinary issues, with Richard Taylor potentially in line for a league debut having impressed on his full Blues debut against Wimbledon 10-days ago.
Oxford have a number of players in top form in front of goal, but we’re going to focus on the on-loan Bristol City striker Matty Taylor as United’s dangerman this weekend.
Taylor’s season-long loan at the Kassam has proven a success so far with his hold-up play as well as his runs in behind causing opposition defences all sorts of problems.
The experienced frontman has scored in six of his last nine appearances for tomorrow’s visitors, most recently notching an injury-time equaliser for Oxford away at Portsmouth.
Tom Nield takes charge of Blues this Saturday, being assisted by Matthew Lee and Adrian Tranter with Paul Lister in as the fourth official.
Nield has officiated 13 games so far this campaign, issuing a total of 35 yellow cards and two reds, with his last appearance coming in Walsall’s 6-0 EFL Trophy win over Forest Green Rovers.
It’ll be Nield’s first visit to Roots Hall since August 2018 where he took charge of Blues’ 2-0 win over Bradford, with his last match involving Southend coming a month later in a 3-2 win at Wycombe.
Tickets are available to purchase from the Blues Box Office, online or by calling 08444 770077 and are at a discounted price if purchased before Saturday.
Prices will increase on matchday with tickets available right up until kick-off, and you can find out more information about ticket availability and pricing by clicking below.