Match Preview: Southend United vs Scunthorpe United

roots hall
roots hall

The Iron are back on the road as they head to Essex for a tricky encounter against Southend United on Saturday afternoon.

Scunthorpe come into the fixture without a win in their last three matches, having conceded a cruel 96th-minute equaliser against Doncaster on Tuesday. The Blues, who are on a four-game losing streak, haven’t played for two weeks after their match at Rochdale was postponed last weekend.

Graham Alexander confirmed on Thursday that Neal Bishop will not make the trip, but the injury is not as bad as first feared and he hopes to have him back next weekend. Matt Gilks is back on the grass but will remain absent, while Jordan Clarke and Jonny Margetts will be sidelined for the next few months.

Sam Mantom is getting closer to a return and Luke Williams is progressing well but is still not ready to be involved. Andrew Crofts and Ryan Yates are back in training and could be in contention.

The United boss is expected to stick with a similar lineup to the one that faced Doncaster on Tuesday, having been impressed with the performance levels his team produced.

The injury to Neal Bishop leaves a gap in midfield to be filled, with loanee Cameron McGeehan the favourite to deputize after replacing the 36-year-old on Tuesday.

Striker Tom Hopper has put in some excellent displays for the Iron recently and he will be hoping to build upon his early midweek goal against Doncaster.

Tom Hopper getting on the scoresheet in the derby against Doncaster

Southend Team News

The Shrimpers have had a disappointing campaign so far, which led to the recent dismissal of manager Phil Brown. Former Blues defender Chris Powell was appointed as Brown’s replacement earlier this week and will take charge of his first game on Saturday.

When previewing the Iron’s visit, the Southend boss, said: “I’m excited about Saturday and I’ll be nervous as well but we have to make Roots Hall a cauldron if we can.

“The players have got to push themselves, they’ve got to get the crowd on their side and that’s by being aggressive with and without the ball, being positive, putting quality balls in from wide areas.

“We have to make our set-plays count, we have got to lock it up at the back. We have to take the game to Scunthorpe. We need points and we need to get the confidence up.”

Powell will be without former Scunthorpe midfielder Josh Wright, who is out with a hamstring injury. Defender Rob Kiernan remains sidelined after undergoing knee surgery, while Anthony Wordsworth has had a calf problem but could be in contention.

The danger man for the Shrimpers could be Simon Cox. The forward isn’t having the best of spells, having registered in just one of his last nine appearances. However, when the Blues visited Glanford Park last month, Cox was the only player to really cause United problems, as he picked pockets in front of the defence and looked a danger in the box. The number ten will be hoping to get on the scoresheet on Saturday.

blues5 2
Shrimpers danger man Simon Cox

Previous Matches

Scunthorpe have a solid recent record against Southend, winning four of the last six meetings between the sides.

In 2015, the Blues defeated United 2-1 at Roots Hall, before the Iron won 2-1 in an FA Cup match between the pair just a few months later. In early 2016 the Iron ran out 1-0 victors at Glanford Park and then put four past the Shrimpers later that year. Southend did get their revenge in February of last year, recording a 3-1 win over Scunthorpe. When the sides met last month, United were victorious with a comfortable 3-1 win.

The Iron will be hoping to ruin Chris Powell’s first game in charge and come away with all three points from Southend on Saturday.

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Written by James Murray

Aspiring journalist and Scunthorpe United fan studying at the London South Bank University.

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