Southend v Port Vale preview

Team news ahead of Saturday's League Two clash between Southend and Port Vale at Roots Hall.

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Paul Sturrock boasts near to a full-strength squad for the visit of the Valiants.

The Shrimpers have been beset with their fair share of injury and suspension problems of late but only experienced striker Neil Harris remains on the sidelines with his knee complaint.

Defender Luke Prosser returns to the squad having missed Tuesday's 3-2 triumph at Bristol Rovers due to a one-match suspension, providing Sturrock with a welcome complement of players to select from.

Changes are likely to be kept to a minimum after the midweek success although the likes of Prosser, Anthony Straker, Ryan Leonard, David Martin, Freddy Eastwood and Barry Corr are available should Sturrock want to freshen up his side.

Winger Jonson Clarke-Harris will not be involved after his loan spell ended this week and he returned to parent club Peterborough.

Southend are aiming to record a third successive win for only the second time this season although it will not be easy against high-flying Vale, who will be led by 17-goal top scorer Tom Pope.

Port Vale may have just 15 first-team players available for the weekend tie.

With John McCombe completing a three-match suspension and Gareth Owen (dead leg) and Richard Duffy (leg) still out injured, Tuesday night's 2-2 home draw with Rochdale ended with three more players being unavailable for selection.

Sam Morsy will begin a three-match ban following his red card against Dale while Doug Loft felt his calf tighten up again on his return from the injury and was unable to complete the game and Darren Murphy pulled a hamstring.

Morsy's absence means Chris Shuker is likely to partner Ryan Burge in midfield.

Losing captain Loft may see Rob Taylor fill in at left-back.

Manager Micky Adams said: "It puts extra pressure on us for Saturday but we have got to get on with it."

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League Two Fixtures

Saturday, 20 September 2014
15:00
AFC W'don v Morecambe
Bury v Burton Alb
Cambridge Utd v Luton Town
Cheltenham v Dag + Red
Mansfield v Carlisle
Northamptn v Accrington  
Oxford Utd v Stevenage  
Plymouth v Hartlepool
Portsmouth v Wycombe
Shrewsbury v Newport

Sky Bet League 2

Position Team P GD PTS
1 Burton Alb 8 5 19
2 Bury 8 7 17
3 Wycombe 8 6 17
4 Morecambe 8 5 16
5 Northamptn 8 5 14
6 Shrewsbury 8 5 14
7 Southend 8 3 14
8 Cheltenham 8 2 14
9 Portsmouth 8 2 13
10 Mansfield 8 -1 12
11 Cambridge Utd 8 4 11
12 AFC W'don 8 2 11
13 Plymouth 8 2 10
14 Stevenage 8 -3 10
15 Tranmere 8 0 9
16 York City 8 -1 9
17 Newport 8 -2 9
18 Luton Town 8 -2 9
19 Dag + Red 8 -6 7
20 Accrington 8 -7 7
21 Hartlepool 8 -7 7
22 Oxford Utd 8 -2 6
23 Exeter 8 -5 6
24 Carlisle 8 -12 3

Updated Fri, 19 Sep 2014

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