Phil Parkinson's Bolton Wanderers make the trip down to Southend tomorrow where they will face Southend United, managed of course by Wanderers old boy Phil Brown.
The lads will be looking to turn around a mini-blip caused by last weekend's league defeat to Swindon Town, and the disappointment of losing in the FA Cup to Crystal Palace.
The sides are in similar(ish) form. Southend have won three in six, losing once, whilst Bolton have won two in six. They sit in a healthy seventh spot on 42 points, whilst we are ahead on 50.
One key item of note is that they have a goal difference of +5, though have conceded 34 goals in 27 games, suggesting that if our forwards are on their game then there will be chances for them to convert.
More impressively, Southend are have only lost once in 15 league games; which, considering they are in a run of playing 6 of the top 8 teams in the league means that Bolton face a tough challenge this weekend.
Brown has made ten signings since the start of the season, with former Wigan Athletic man Marc-Antoine Fortuné and ex-Reading striker Simon Cox (hehe, Cox) being the most eye-catching. Franck Nouble signed for the club this week, further strengthening their attacking options.
Wanderers, despite this being the 20th day of the transfer window, have yet to bring in anyone.
Southend’s record at Roots Hall and recent good form, combined with the potential fatigue in the Bolton squad after our cup exploits mean that I am finding it hard to envisage a Wanderers win, though we all know that Parky has fostered a great team spirit and I fully back the lads to prove me wrong.