This will not be pretty and the atmosphere at Roots Hall, which can be intimidating at the best of times, will be very hostile, even for a lunchtime kick off.
U's player Karl Duguid will be playing with ear plugs, if he has any sense. His antics turned the first match at Layer Road, when he threw himself to the ground as though he had been struck by Kevin Mayer, causing the Blues player to be sent off. Video evidence appeared to show that no contact was made, to make matters worse another player picked up a yellow card for his protests and 5 minutes later a second. So Southend were down to 9 men, 10 minutes later 0-0 had turned into 2-0 and the visitors were left fuming. Colchester eventually won 3-0 and the hosts have been awaiting revenge ever since.
Southend have two, fairly key players back today, which will give them a far more balanced look and hopefully one capable of a better performance than in the 4-0 loss at Hull City, last time out.
Colchester have refound some form, with two fine wins over Southampton and Norwich, but are far happier at home. On their travels they have won only 4 of 20, losing 12, a total only "bettered" by 3 of the bottom 4 in the Championship.
They sit 7 points off the play-offs, with only a slim chance of getting into the top 6, a chance that will evaporate if they do not collect maximum points today, therefore, we can expect them to go for it.
Southend will lack no further motivation, but 3 points would take them out of the relegation zone and Freddie Eastwood will be looking to impress in front of the cameras, no doubt viewing a summer move to a bigger club. I have to favour the home side, who at times, look much better than their league position would suggest.
5 points Southend -1/4 ball 1.95 asian line ( ko 13.30 cet). lost 3-0 -5 pts