Form is something which has alluded Burton Albion for a few weeks now, but for Southend United it has been a season to forget since day one. The Essex based club find themselves dwindling at the foot of the table in 23rd place, above only Bolton Wanderers. Burton will begin the fixture sat in 12th position. A win for either side would be welcomed, but three points would only place a plaster over much bigger wounds.
The Shrimpers will be without goalkeeper Mark Oxley for a number of weeks, and therefore have had to turn to emergency loan signing Patrik Gunnarsson who joins from Brentford.
Joe Shaughnessy (brother of Albion's Conor) and Harry Kyprianou returned to the squad during the team's defeat to Gillingham on tuesday evening, and both will be in the squad for the Burton fixture.
However, Stephen Humphrys, John White, Harry Lennon, Brandon Goodship all are likely to miss out, as well as others.
On-loan Manchester United goalkeeper Kieran O'Hara will be the Brewers biggest miss, as he is sidelined after having been stretchered off in their last game against Ipswich Town.
Jake Buxton remains a major doubt as he continues to recover from a rib injury. John-Joe O'Toole will miss out too with a groin problem, as well as Colin Daniel who has returned to training, but is still unlikely to feature.
Speaking to the club's official website, the former England defender had this to say ahead of the fixture:
“The last game was a bit of a battle and some of the players will have learnt a lot from it. They wouldn’t have had that type of game before, especially in the Academy.
“Burton are a passing side who move the ball quickly. We will have to be up for that and penetrate more in the final third.
“We’ve got to get a bit of luck in front of goal and have more conviction. We had a couple of chances against Gillingham and hopefully we can stick one of them away and win this game.”
Speaking to iFollow Brewers, Nigel Clough made his feelings clear on The Shrimpers:
"They [Southend] are competing incredibly well. Gillingham beat them with just one shot on target, which is probably an error by the young goalkeeper.
"I think they have been so unlucky, that their improvement hasn't been shown in their results, and they could quite easily be a few points closer to safety.
"They are no where near down yet, yes they're a good few points adrift, but you see in this league... teams can put together a run of three, four, five wins - it's unlikely but they are capable of doing it."
Across the board, Burton boast a narrowly better record over Southend. The Brewers have won seven, drawn four and lost six when the sides have clashed.
Last time out was at the Pirelli earlier in the season, where it finished 1-1 after 90 minutes, with goals from Scott Fraser and Stephen McLaughlin - in a game which also saw John-Joe O'Toole see red.
The most notable fixture(s) between the two sides was back in May 2014, where the two fought for a place at Wembley and a spot in the League Two play-off final. Over two legs, Burton ran out 3-2 victors. However, The Brewers failed to overcome Fleetwood Town in the final.
Kick off is at 3pm at Roots Hall