MX23RW : Monday, June 21 21:49:03| >> :600:2689255:2689255:
Mar 23, 2021 at 7pm UK at Roots Hall Stadium
SouthendSouthend United

McCormack (15'), White (36')
Hart (67')

Gordon (31'), Lavery (36'), Clarke (82'), Leak (83'), Osei (90')

Preview: Southend United vs. Walsall - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Tuesday's League Two clash between Southend United and Walsall, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Southend United will be looking to give their survival hopes a boost when they continue their League Two campaign at home to Walsall on Tuesday night.

The Seasiders, who are 23rd in the table, will enter the contest off the back of a 1-1 draw with Scunthorpe United, while 20th-placed Walsall suffered a 2-1 loss to Bolton Wanderers last time out.

Match preview

Southend United's Jason Demetriou in action with Exeter City's Jake Taylor in League Two on October 10, 2020© Reuters

Southend were on the verge of securing an incredibly important three points against Scunthorpe on Saturday as a 79th-minute penalty from Ashley Nathaniel-George had sent the Shrimpers ahead; the Essex club could not hold onto the lead, though, conceding in the 90th minute as the match finished 1-1.

Mark Molesley's side are now winless in their last six in League Two, which has left them down in 23rd position in the table, three points clear of basement side Grimsby Town, who have a game in hand.

Southend are now seven points behind 22nd-placed Colchester United and 21st-placed Barrow, but the latter have two games in hand over the Shrimpers, and it does appear that the team's chances of avoiding relegation from the Football League are evaporating with each passing match.

The Blues, who competed in the Championship during the 2006-07 campaign, were relegated from League One last season and are now facing the possibility of dropping into the National League.

Southend have won four of their last six meetings with Walsall, though, including a 1-0 victory when the two teams locked horns for the reverse fixture earlier this season.

Walsall's head coach Brian Dutton pictured in March 2021© Reuters

Walsall, meanwhile, will enter Tuesday's contest off the back of a 2-1 defeat at Bolton on Saturday; Sam Perry had sent the visitors ahead in the 28th minute of the contest, but second-half goals from Kieran Lee and Eoin Doyle ensured that Ian Evatt's side would pick up all three points.

The Saddlers are far from out of the relegation picture, occupying 20th position in the table, having only picked up 39 points from their 35 league games during the 2020-21 campaign.

Brian Dutton's side are currently on a 10-match winless run in the fourth tier of English football, suffering six defeats in the process, which has seen them slide dangerously close to the relegation zone.

Walsall now face back-to-back matches against the bottom two - Southend and Grimsby - and would certainly find themselves in a difficult position if they were to lose both matches.

The West Midlands club have only won three of their 17 away league games this term but will be travelling to a Southend side that have the second-worst home record in the division, picking up just 15 points from 18 matches.

Southend United League Two form:
  • D
  • L
  • D
  • L
  • D
  • D

Walsall League Two form:
  • L
  • D
  • L
  • L
  • D
  • L

Team News

Southend United's Nathan Ralph in action with Exeter City's Josh Key in League Two on October 10, 2020© Reuters

Southend are expected to be boosted by the return of on-loan Arsenal midfielder James Olayinka, who has been out of action since the middle of January with an ankle problem, but the 20-year-old could start on the bench.

Goalkeeper Mark Oxley came through the Scunthorpe match with no reaction to a groin issue and will therefore start once again, while Terrell Egbri could be available after overcoming a hamstring problem.

Head coach Molesley is expected to resist the temptation to make wholesale changes, although Nathaniel-George and Jacob Mellis are both in contention for starts.

Harry Lennon, Nile Ranger, Nathan Ralph and Lewis Gard remain long-term absentees for the Blues.

As for Walsall, James Clarke again featured against Bolton on Saturday following a recent return from injury, and the defender is expected to be in the starting XI on Tuesday night.

The visitors will be unable to call upon Hayden White, though, as the 25-year-old is suspended due to the red card that he picked up at the weekend.

Dan Scarr is also still absent due to a calf problem, meaning that Callum Cockerill-Mollett could be in line for a start as part of a back three at Roots Hall.

Southend United possible starting lineup:
Oxley; Demetriou, White, Hobson, Hart; Holmes, McCormack, Ferguson, Hackett-Fairchild; Dieng, Akinola

Walsall possible starting lineup:
Roberts; Cockerill-Mollett, Clarke, Sadler; Norman, Kinsella, Perry, Melbourne; Gordon, Lavery, Osadebe

SM words green background

We say: Southend United 1-1 Walsall

Southend have drawn three of their last four in the league, including two of their last three at Roots Hall. Walsall will not enter Tuesday's match in the best of form, but we are struggling to back the home side with any real confidence and have therefore settled on a low-scoring draw in Essex.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at are predicting a double chance bet on a draw or an away win in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Draw/Away:data

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