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Preview: Southend United vs Bolton Wanderers

It’s a tough midweek clash for the Wanderers tonight

Oxford United v Bolton Wanderers - Sky Bet League One Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images

Tonight Wanderers head to Roots Hall to take on sixth-place Southend United in what will undoubtedly be a very tough game for Phil Parkinson’s men. With former Bolton assistant manager Phil Brown still in charge of The Shrimpers, it’s bound to be a tense affair as both clubs battle it out for promotion come May.

The Whites head down south with a spring in their step, undefeated in eight and more than ready to continue the fine away form shown against Shrewsbury, Oxford, Gillingham and Fleetwood in March. Southend are also playing well; unbeaten in four with two clean sheets in their last couple of games. Their last defeat came in the form of a 2-0 loss to Bristol Rovers on March 11th.

After a shaky period earlier on in the season, Phil Brown’s boys have come back strongly, cementing their usual spot in and around the play-off places at the business end of the season. They’ll look to capitalise on the potential absence of Gary Madine for the Wanderers, after a less-than-convincing performance up top on Saturday against Chesterfield.

The ones to watch for the home side are undoubtedly Simon Cox and Nile Ranger. Cox has racked up 13 goals this season, with football’s favourite bad boy Ranger bagging eight in almost half the game time.

The Whites will hope to have Madine fit in time and await the status of full-back Andrew Taylor; let’s hope both can find fitness as soon as possible and get back on the pitch. Other than the long-term absentees, there are no fresh injury concerns for Parky’s men.

Tickets are available on the door at Roots Hall tonight, so if you’re a southern-based Wanderer, get yourself down to the game and support the boys at this crucial time of the season. With a full Football League fixture list taking place, we can’t afford to slip up, or lose ground on the top.

Viva Phil Parkinson. Viva Bolton Wanderers.