Southend United Vs Stevenage
Roots Hall, Saturday 16th August, 3:00 pm
Home Side: WL
Away Side: WL
Stevenage last XI: Beasant, Okimo (Deacon 56), Dembele, Worley, Wells, Pett (Ashton 80), Whelpdale, Bond, Lee, Charles, Marriott (Calcutt 80). Subs: Day, Johnson.
Southend United last XI: P. Smith; Thompson, Ibenfeldt, Prosser; Worrall (Weston), Leonard, Atkinson (Clifford), Coker; Payne (Hurst); Barnard, Coulthirst.
Match Odds from William Hill: Southend 23/20 Draw 2/1 Stevenage 12/5
Both teams will be looking to bounce back from their League Cup exits midweek as the two sides prepare for the League Two fixture. The two sides have had a similar season so far as they both won their opening league match 1-0 and were both knockout out of the Capital One Cup midweek. Southend United lost their Cup tie 2-1 against League One side Walsall. The Blues conceded an 87th minute goal from Walsall’s Kieron Morris, after Southend’s Ryan Leonard stunning strike cancelled out Malvind Benning’s first half goal. This was their fourth consecutive exit in the first round. Will Atkinson is a doubt for Saturday’s match after seriously injuring his eye during their midweek game. He was left unable to see out of one of his eyes and suffered internal bleeding after a clash 30 minutes in.
It was an early exit for Stevenage too as the League Two side lost 1-0 to Championship side Watford, thanks to a second half goal from Lloyd Dyer. Stevenage manager Graham Westley complained that his squad was thin but will be pleased to hear the news that Ronnie Henry is to return at the end of the month. The defender, who returned to Stevenage after two years at Luton, missed out on last week’s opener with a knee injury. Calvin Zola, Chris Beardsley and Dean Parrett are still likely to be a doubt.
Head to Head:
The two sides have met three times before – twice during the 2010/11 League two season and once in a FA Trophy game in 2001 in which Southend won convincingly 4-1. Stevenage suffered a 1-0 defeat the last time the two teams played at Roots Hall in April 2011 with Barry Corr scoring the only goal. Corr also scored during a 1-1 draw during their away fixture in that season.
One to Watch:
The 23-year-old was unlucky to score last weekend against Hartlepool but looked lively throughout the match. The former Cambridge United player will be hoping to score his first League goal this weekend. He is not the strongest in the air and struggled to cope with the long balls that were lobbed up field last week however once settles into the game, Stevenage changed their game which suited the striker. Marriott’s link up play with Darius Charles is something that the Hertfordshire club has been missing and will no doubt be a threat.
Barry Corr: My other One to Watch is another striker. Like Marriott, Corr is also looking for his first goal this season. The striker has scored in both games he has played against Stevenage which will give him confidence ahead of Saturday’s fixture. The Irish striker scored 13 goals in 51 appearances but only scored once in his first 13 appearances last season. He did not feature for Southend midweek so should be at full fitness this weekend and could cause Stevenage a lot of problems. He was taken off after 72 minutes last weekend against Accrington Stanley so he might not play the full 90 minutes.
I can definitely see a lot of goals in this game and both sides should pose a constant threat throughout the game. Southend and Stevenage managed clean sheets last weekend but the attacking force of the sides will be too much of a problem for the defence. Stevenage will be looking to get rid of any nerves immediately as they took their time to settle in both of their games this week. Southend should take control of the game as they have the home advantage but I can see this being very close which is why I am predicting…