Crewe v Southend preview
Southend travel north to face Crewe at Gresty Road in a game that pits together two out-of-sorts sides.
Last Updated: 19/09/08 1:51pm
Southend travel north to face Crewe at Gresty Road in a clash which pairs together two sides that have struggled so far this season.
Crewe defenders Danny Woodards and Julien Baudet are expected to be fit despite suffering injury scares this past week.
Woodards suffered a minor knock following a tackle from Colchester's Steven Gillespie last weekend but trained on Monday with no ill-effects.
During that training session, Baudet sustained a slight groin strain. However, the Crewe captain has responded to treatment and should retain his place in Steve Holland's side.
Fellow defender Chris McCready remains the only injury absentee. He is still struggling with the hamstring strain he suffered in the defeat at Carlisle a month ago.
The game sees the return of former Crewe striker Lee Barnard. The 24-year-old spent four months on loan at Gresty Road last season.
However, his stay was blighted by injury and he joined Southend at the start of the year. On his return in April, Barnard scored twice as the Shrimpers beat Crewe 3-1.
Goalkeeper Ian Joyce is expected to make his Southend debut as Steve Tilson is forced to shuffle his pack.
Joyce is likely to be given the nod to replace first-choice stopper Steve Mildenhall, who is out of action for at least a month with an ankle injury sustained in the 1-0 win over Hereford last weekend.
On-loan midfielder Hal Robson-Kanu is set to rejoin parent club Reading after the weekend and may feature against the Alex, while striker Lee Barnard will be hoping to extend his purple patch in front of goal after netting twice in his last four outings.
Tilson opted not to include Franck Moussa in his matchday squad last time out despite the midfielder returning from a three-match ban and it remains to be seen whether the Belgian will be involved against Crewe.
Midfielder Alan McCormack (knee) is closing in on a return to action, but is more likely to come into contention against Leyton Orient next Friday.