By Jacob Smith
Phil Brown’s Southend United play host to Swindon Town, who are sitting just one place and one point above the drop zone in 20th position.
Ninth-placed Southend come into the fixture with a lot of confidence following their 3-0 win at home to Bradford City. Midfielder Will Atkinson will be looking to build on his recent form having scored twice in the victory over Bradford.
Swindon supporters have seen their side win just twice in their previous 13, although they may take hope from the fact they are unbeaten in their last five against the Blues in all competitions.
Swindon’s first-team coach Ross Embleton believes Southend have got a number of strengths: “They’ve got a number of good players and the front players are a real threat, we know what we are going to come up against.”
Southend striker Nile Ranger will be in contention to line up against his former club having played for Swindon during the 2013/14 season. Ranger eventually left the club having scored 10 goals in 28 appearances for The Robins. Before scoring twice in Southend’s 4-1 victory over Bury, Ranger had failed to find the back of the net for exactly two years and four days.
A victory for Southend could see them go as high as fifth place following their relatively slow start to the season and the players were in good spirits on social media last week with a couple of Twitter posts congratulating Atkinson’s brace.
What a guy @willako16 👏🏻👏🏻⚽️⚽️
— Mark Oxley (@markoxley1) November 19, 2016
Embleton will need his two first choice strikers Nathan Delfouneso and Jonathan Obika to start finding the net more often with their collective league effort of just three goals this season.