Torquay v Southend preview

Team news ahead of Saturday's League Two clash between Torquay United and Southend United at Plainmoor.

Last Updated: 16/11/12 at 13:30

Poke: Doubtful with groin problem

Poke: Doubtful with groin problem

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Gulls goalkeeper Michael Poke is a doubt after missing the 0-0 draw with Oxford last weekend because of a strained abductor muscle in his groin.

The medical staff will assess the 26-year-old in training ahead of this weekend's match. If he does not get the green light then Martin Rice will deputise again.

Winger Danny Stevens also missed the clash at the Kassam and his lower abdomen strain will rule him out again, but striker Rene Howe will return after serving his one-game suspension for five yellow cards.

Meanwhile manager Martin Ling hopes to have winger Lloyd Macklin available again by Christmas.

The 23-year-old broke a metatarsal just over a month ago but is set to have the plaster removed and he could be on course to feature in the Devon derby with Exeter on December 22.

Paul Sturrock hopes to have a virtually fully-fit squad - but a couple of players will require late fitness tests.

Striker Neil Harris is the only definite absentee with his long-standing knee injury but midfielder Kevan Hurst has declared himself fit after an ankle knock.

"We have picked up a couple of knocks from the behind-closed-doors game this week and a few starters from Saturday will require fitness tests," the Shrimpers boss told the club's official website.

"But I am hopeful they will all be okay and we will have as strong a squad as last week to select from."

Southend's solid 0-0 draw at Port Vale last Saturday extended the club's unbeaten run to four games.

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