Fleetwood Town are preparing for Saturday’s Sky Bet League One clash against Southend United.
Town travel to Roots Hall having beaten Bury FC 3-2 in their last outing, a win that saw them book a place in the Checkatrade Trophy quarter final.
Uwe Rosler’s side last met Southend back in September when they were beaten 4-2 at Highbury, ending their unbeaten start to the season at home. Goals for Town that day came from Amari’i Bell and Devante Cole.
Southend are currently 17th in the table, four places beneath the Cod Army. The Shrimpers are yet to win in 2018, but did register a convincing 3-1 home victory over Charlton Athletic on Boxing Day.
Rob Kelly, Assistant Head Coach, said:
“They're a strong side, they've got a good management team, very experienced. They know what this league is about. They invested heavily in the summer. They're having a dip in form at the moment, but I don't expect that to last.
“It’ll be a tough game, it’s not an easy place to go, but we’ll do what we do. We’ll prepare properly and professionally, like we always do, and look forward to going there and getting a result.
“Training has a little edge to it because there’s one or two more competing for spots so that’s good for everyone. Good players thrive on competition and we think we’ve got some good players here. If you’ve got the shirt you want to do everything you possibly can to keep it. It raises the level of everything.”
Phil Brown, Southend United manager, said:
“Where Uwe is concerned there is no doubt in my mind he’s a meticulous kind of manager who prepares his teams for each game that comes along. They were at full strength at Leicester and if it was a weakened team or just eight or nine changes at Bury, but that shows you the kind of squad that he’s got.
“It’s up in the air with regards to what the opposition is going to put at us, but as far as I’m concerned, we’ve just got to focus on what we can put out there and cause Fleetwood problems. We’ve got to give our best for the shirt to try and turn the corner and stem the tide at the moment.”
Fleetwood Town come into the fixture after having beaten Bury FC 3-2 to reach the last eight of the Checkatrade Trophy on Tuesday night. Goals on the night came courtesy of a brace from Jordy Hiwula and a penalty from the returning Bobby Grant.
Prior to that Town recorded a 0-0 with 2016 Premier League champions Leicester City to force a replay and ensure they went into the draw for the Emirates FA Cup fourth round for only the second time in the club’s history.
The Cod Army’s last league outing did end in defeat, however, with Bradford City overturning a Jack Sowerby goal to win 2-1 at Highbury on New Year’s Day.
This result followed back to back away wins over Oldham Athletic and Bury FC.
Southend United are on a difficult run at the moment, recording one win in their last seven league fixtures. A 3-1 win over Charlton Athletic on Boxing Day was wrapped up with a double from Simon Cox and a header from veteran defender Michael Turner.
Despite a disappointing spell of form the Shrimpers are a strong side who will expect their fortunes to turn around soon.
One to Watch
Simon Cox is a proven and consistent goalscorer. In a campaign where goals haven’t always been the easiest to come by for the the Shrimpers Cox has shown his quality and eye for goal with seven strikes in the Sky Bet League One, including brace in the home win over play-off chasing Charlton Athletic on Boxing Day.
Having enjoyed prolific spells at Swindon Town, Nottingham Forest, and a period in the Premier League with West Bromwich Albion, the 30-year-old has amassed 114 career goals, including four at full international level for the Republic of Ireland.
Expect to see him lurking on the edge of the six-yard box, hanging off the shoulder of the last man, or pulling out the occasional audacious strike.
Saturday could see debuts for Town’s latest additions, Paddy Madden, Toumani Diagouraga, and Gethin Jones. Madden signed from Scunthorpe United before last weekend’s historic Emirates FA Cup draw with Leicester City but was cup tied and did not feature. Diagouraga and Jones joined from Plymouth Argyle and Everton FC respectively, and have joined up with their new teammates this week.
United have also been involved in the transfer market, with midfielder Ryan Leonard joining Sheffield United for an undisclosed fee after six years at Roots Hall. During that time Leonard was voted Supporters’ Player of the Year three times.
The two sides last met in September, with Southend running out 4-2 winners at Highbury. Goals that day came from Amari’i Bell and Devante Cole, with Aiden O’Neill seeing red for the home team.
Last season Fleetwood took all three points at Roots Hall, with Chris Long and Ash Hunter on target in a 2-0 victory.
Six of the nine previous meetings between the two clubs have ended in a draw.
Fancy a flutter?
Fancy a bet ahead of ahead of this weekend’s clash? See the latest odds with our EFL partner Sky Bet.
Town are priced at 23/10 for the win, but the home team are favourites at 5/4.
A seventh draw in ten meetings is priced at 9/4.
Favourite it find the net first for the Cod Army is Devante Cole at 5/1, while Simon Cox is seen as the most likely for the hosts at 9/2. A debut goal for Paddy Madden is priced at 11/2.
If you’re in the mood for something a little more elaborate, Fleetwood to reverse September’s result and win 4-2 is priced at a massive 100/1.
All odds are subject to change.
For more odds visit www.skybet.com
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