Scout report: Why ex-Sunderland and Manchester City stars are set to shine for Southend
Sunderland face another test of their League One promotion credentials this weekend when Southend United visit the Stadium of Light.
Jack Ross alluded to the fact that it would be yet another tough test in his pre-match press conference yesterday, and the Shrimpers will certainly prove a tough test.
But what do we know about the Roots Hall outfit?
Here's all you need to know about Southend United:
What system will Southend United play?
Similar to Sunderland, Southend tend to operate in a 4-2-3-1 formation and use this to good effect.
With attack-minded full-backs, tricky wingers and creative midfield players, it’s a system which offers the Shrimpers plenty going forward.
And it also provides them with some real stability at the back where a combination of youth and experience blend perfectly.
Who are Southend United’s key players?
Harry Bunn is one to watch, and is certainly in fine form after netting a brace in the Blues’ 3-0 win over Walsall in midweek.
A former Manchester City youth prospect, the goals were Bunn’s first of the season and he will be keen to kick-on this weekend.
Meanwhile at the back, former Sunderland man Michael Turner is expected to start and will prove a tricky customer - with his experience proving vital.
Full-back Jason Demetriou is also a danger man and offers plenty going forward, while skipper Sam Mantom is vital in the engine room.
Do Southend United have any injury worries?
The Shrimpers could be without two key players this weekend after they picked up injuries in the win over Walsall.
Top scorer Tom Hopper picked up a knee injury, with Chris Powell admitting it was ‘doubtful’ that he would travel to the North East.
Meanwhile, defender Harry Lennon - who had only just returned from a previous injury - fractured his leg in the triumph.
While the injuries are blows, they give a chance for the likes of Bunn and Turner to shine.
Who is Southend United’s manager and what can we expect from them?
Ex-England international Chris Powell is the man in charge at Roots Hall having previously managed in the Championship.
The 49-year-old enjoyed a spell as caretaker manager at Leicester in 2010 before taking charge of former club Charlton and later Huddersfield.
But Powell returned to Roots Hall, where he had previously played between 1990 and 1996, earlier this year and has made a strong start.
What form have Southend United been in?
The Shrimpers are six points and places below the Black Cats after a mixed start to the season - which has seen them win seven games but lose six.
Recent form, however, has been much improved with Southend having lost just two of their last eight outings.
Powell will now be hoping for more consistency as his side look to break into the play-off places.
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