Southend United vs Tranmere Rovers...
Southend United return to Roots Hall this evening for the first of two huge back-to-back home games, starting with the visit of high-flying Tranmere Rovers.
Blues dropped back into the relegation zone after a frustrating draw with Oldham on Saturday and they’ll be looking at these successive home games as a chance to jump back out of danger.
Rovers will be travelling from the Wirral looking to keep tabs with the top three as Keith Hill’s side go into tonight just three points off the automatic promotion places.
Saturday’s stalemate with Oldham was Southend’s third draw in their last six matches, having also drawn against Cambridge and Salford, with each of those three games ending 0-0.
Blues’ only win in that time came away at Forest Green Rovers, while Southend’s two defeats in the last six have come by the odd goal in 1-0 defeats to Bolton and Cheltenham.
Tranmere’s 1-0 home defeat to Crawley on Saturday ended a four-game unbeaten run for Rovers which had included wins against Carlisle, Leyton Orient and Newport.
Saturday 24th October 2020
Tranmere Rovers 2-0 Southend United
Clarke 31’, Vaughan 52’
The experienced duo of Peter Clarke and James Vaughan combined to inflict a 2-0 defeat on Southend United the last time these two sides met back in October at Prenton Park.
Clarke nodded in the opener, killing the momentum Blues had built to that point, before Vaughan doubled the home side’s advantage shortly after the restart with a deflected effort.
From The Boss
"Keith Hill has done a fantastic job at Tranmere since coming in. They're a vastly improved side with a whole host of experience in their squad.
"They've got a big game on Sunday at Wembley and I think most of the players will be wanting to show the manager that they deserve to play in that game.
"But on the other hand, I think promotion will be their real focus, and the league will take priority over the cup final.
"We can only control the way we approach the game we can't do anything about their squad, so we will have to see what the night brings and take serious action in delivering what we need to do."
Blues Team News
Simeon Akinola is a huge doubt for Blues this evening after the striker limped off with a back problem against Oldham. Mark Molesley has said a late call will be made on the frontman.
Alan McCormack missed the trip to Boundary Park with an ankle problem picked up in training and is described as having an ‘outside chance’ of being available for selection tonight.
Arsenal loanee James Olayinka though is certain to miss out again, having not featured since January for Blues, with the winger due to have another injection to help with his groin injury.
In the absence of top scorer James Vaughan, Rovers will be looking to fellow striker Kaiyne Woolery to continue his recent scoring form, making him the dangerman this evening.
Woolery has scored in seven of his last 11 matches for Tranmere, including scoring the vital opening goal in a 2-0 win against Oxford which sent Rovers to the Papa Johns Trophy Final.
The 26-year-old describes himself as an ‘explosive player’ with his pace and direct running a nuisance for defenders across the division, so he’ll be requiring close attention this evening.
Tim Robinson will be the man in charge tonight, being assisted by Nigel Lugg and Robert Hyde, with George Byrne the fourth official.
Robinson last visited Roots Hall in September 2017, overseeing a 0-0 draw against Rochdale, and his last Blues game anywhere was a 1-0 win at Oxford United on Boxing Day 2018.
The West Sussex official has taken charge of 29 games so far this season, showing a total of 87 yellow cards and five reds. His last outing was the 0-0 draw between Huddersfield and Cardiff.
With fans not able to attend Roots Hall in person, Blues supporters can watch tonight’s game with Tranmere by picking up a Match Pass on iFollow Blues for £10.
A Match Pass will allow you to watch the game on your laptop, computer, tablet or mobile device with Season Ticket holders already having access to their pass via their iFollow account.
For more information on how you can get your Match Pass and ensure you miss none of the action at Roots Hall on iFollow Blues, click here.