Plymouth Argyle Vs Southend United
Home Park – Saturday 30th August 2014, 3:00pm
Home Side: LDWDL
Away Side: WLWLD
Plymouth Argyle last XI: Luke McCormick; Kelvin Mellor, Curtis Nelson (capt), Peter Hartley, Carl McHugh (Ben Purrington); Deane Smalley (Marvin Morgan), Ollie Norburn, Anthony O’Connor, Lewis Alessandra; Jason Banton (Lee Cox); Reuben Reid. Unused Subs: James Bittner, Dominic Blizzard, Tyler Harvey, Nathan Thomas.
Southend United last XI: Blues: Bentley; White, Prosser, Bolger, Coker; Hurst (Worrall), Coulthirst (Atkinson), Leonard, Clifford; Weston, Corr (Barnard). Unused Subs: P. Smith, Ibenfeldt, Thompson, Payne
Match Odds from William Hill: Plymouth 19/10; Draw 11/5; Southend 6/4
Head to Head:
These two sides have met competitively seventy times with their first fixture taking place in 1920. Southend have triumphed twenty-four times whilst Plymouth has won twenty-three times against the Shrimpers; there has also been 23 matches tied between the two. Last season Southend beat Plymouth 1-0 on the opening day, but on the second time round they had to share the points after a 1-1 draw at Home Park.
John Sheridan’s Plymouth would have hoped for a better start in their opening four league games, as they have just picked up the one win. They fell short at Bury last weekend where they narrowly lost 2-1 after a very dominant end to the second half. The Shakers took an early 2-0 lead against the Devon club, and despite a converted penalty from Reuben Reid, they were unable to find an equaliser. That defeat leaves the Pilgrims in 14th position.
Argyle midfielder Dominic Blizzard will be hoping for his first start of the season against Southend having only featured in the opening fixture versus Cambridge United. He missed all the pre-season games due to a thigh injury. This persistent problem has halted Blizzard’s season, but hopefully for the ex-Yeovil man he can gain a start. Matt Lecointe looks likely to miss out again for the Pilgrims due to a cruciate knee ligament injury. He first encountered this injury in 2013 which kept him out of the whole season and the 19 year-old may well have it again.
Player to Watch:
Reuben Reid is already in impeccable form this campaign. The fan-favourite striker at Plymouth has notched up four goals in all competitions and will be looking to add to that against Southend. Reid spent his youth career at Plymouth but left in 2008. Five years later he was back at Home Park, on loan. After two impressive loan spells he signed on a permanent basis at the beginning of the 2014/15 season rejecting Portsmouth along the way. Reid possesses quick feet, strength, skill and most importantly he has the eye for goal. Southend boss, Phil Brown, will have to look to stop Reid in order to keep a clean sheet.
Southend United are placed in eighth position on seven points after they drew away to Carlisle United. Antony Sweeney headed the hosts into the lead, however just two minutes later the Cumbrian side were pegged back. A Conor Clifford long range effort was drilled into the bottom corner on the stroke of half-time. One-all was how the game ended but the Essex side ought to have won it. In the wake of the match Phil Brown confirmed he will be making changes to the Southend side in order to come out victorious against Plymouth. Midfielders Jack Payne and Will Atkinson could be given a start. On Wednesday it was revealed that enquiries had been made from Premiership and Championship clubs for the availability of goalkeeper Daniel Bentley. Brown his determined to hang onto the shot-stopper. Southend’s number one has already made sixty-two league appearances for the club at the age of twenty-one.
Will Atkinson returned to the Southend side against Carlisle, but fellow midfielder Michael Timlin is still out with a dislocated elbow he sustained in pre-season. Clifford will also be fine for the fixture versus Plymouth after there were fears over a hamstring injury.
Player to Watch:
The former Republic of Ireland under-21 international has hit great form at the beginning of the season for Southend and the fans will want it to continue. Last season was not the best for Clifford as he struggled to get into the starting eleven, but he has proved why he should be a starter week in, week out. The ex-Chelsea trainee loves a tackle which could justify his two red cards in the previous campaign. The two times he was sent off could have hampered his chances of not gaining a starting role under Phil Brown in his first season with the Blues. However now he is entering his second season, he is showing his qualities. Clifford could be referred to as a deep-lying playmaker or even a ball-winning midfielder. The twenty-two year old is also not afraid to shoot from range as we could see against Carlisle.
Southend have started the season more brightly than Plymouth but you never know what to expect when these meet; both sides have a similar record against each other. Recently The Shrimpers have been squandering easy chances whilst Plymouth have shown they can score in front of goal. Although, Southend have a strong defence and both sides have good goalkeepers we could see a limited amount of goals. Therefore, I am predicting a 1-1 draw.