Match Preview: Southend United (H)

The Whites play host to Sol Campbell’s Southend United on Saturday afternoon in a Sky Bet League One encounter at the University of Bolton Stadium.

Southend are currently 22nd in the table, five points ahead of Bolton having played four more games.

The Shrimpers come into the game following a two all draw with Rotherham United last weekend but are without a win in the league since the end of September.

The Whites were narrowly beaten on their last time out, losing 1-0 away to high flying Peterborough United.

Team News

In his pre-match press conference, Wanderers manager Keith Hill said the following about his squad's health:

"We know who is injured and it would only be concerning in the ones who were playing week in week out were picking up knocks and niggles during the course of the week, and we haven't.

"It is a similar squad that we have choose from (at Peterborough)."

Head to Head

Wanderers and Southend have met 18 times in their history, with the first game coming in October 1972, with both teams having a share of the spoils that day in a 1-1 draw.

The Whites have edged this fixture so far, winning seven of those games, drawing six and losing five.

There was a dramatic finish in our last meeting with Southend back in April 2017, the then Shrimpers manager Phil Brown was sent from the dugout 10 minutes from time, before a last gasp winner from Mark Beevers sealed all three points for Bolton.

Match Coverage

As usual, match updates will be provided by the club’s official twitter account (@OfficialBWFC). We will keep you up to date with the action to ensure you don’t miss a kick – delivering a match report shortly after the final whistle with post-match reaction from manager, Keith Hill.

Live commentary will also be available by the iFollow BWFC channel (subscribe via the website), with the BBC Radio Manchester team providing the coverage.

Betting Odds

Wanderers come into the game as betting favourites at the time of writing, according to Sky Bet, being priced to win at 10/11.

Southend are outsiders at 13/5, with a draw priced at 5/2.

Man in the Middle

Saturday’s game will be officiated by Ben Toner, with Abbas Khan, Matthew Bristow and Fourth Official Gareth Rhodes completing the referee line-up.

Toner has officiated 16 matches so far this season, with his latest being in a 1-1 draw between Cheltenham and Colchester United at the end of November.

So far this season he has handed out 45 yellow cards and two red cards.

Currently in his ninth season as a referee, Toner has never refereed The Whites, however, has officiated Southend on a number of occasions, most recently in a 1-0 away loss to Rochdale last season.

Key Man for The Shrimpers – Stephen Humphrys

The main man leading the line for Sol Campbell's side on Saturday will be 22-year-old forward Stephen Humphrys.

Humphrys joined The Shrimpers from Fulham back in January, after an array of loan spells at Shrewsbury Town, Rochdale and Scunthorpe United.

The attacker made an instant impact on his debut for the side, scoring two goals in a 4-0 win over Bradford City on the day of his signature.

A man for the big occasion, Humphrys has five goals from his nine starts for Southend, with his most important strike being the winning goal in a 2-1 win over Sunderland which saved The Shrimpers from relegation to League Two.

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