Southend v Bradford preview

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

Last Updated: 14/12/12 at 13:40

Britt Assombalonga: Back for the Shrimpers

Britt Assombalonga: Back for the Shrimpers

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On-loan duo Britt Assombalonga and Tamika Mkandawire are both set to return for Southend.

The pair sat out the penalty shoot-out victory over Bury in the FA Cup second round in midweek after being denied permission by their respective parent clubs to take part in the competition.

Both are expected to return to the midfield as the Shrimpers welcome the Bantams, who also enjoyed penalty shoot-out success in midweek.

Southend goalkeeper Paul Smith is a doubt with a back injury, so 19-year-old Daniel Bentley will keep his place in goal after saving two spot-kicks during the shoot-out.

Defender Mark Phillips has missed the club's last three games with a knee injury and is sidelined once again, but John Spicer and David Martin are pushing for inclusion after overcoming illness.

Bradford have doubts over Nahki Wells and Will Atkinson as they return to League Two action.

The Bantams have had a fine week after disposing of Arsenal in the Capital One Cup on Tuesday and then being reinstated to the FA Cup the following day, but Phil Parkinson's focus now returns to their promotion campaign.

The victory over the Gunners came at a cost as Wells suffered a knee injury and Atkinson picked up a hip problem.

Both men will be assessed ahead of kick-off, with Parkinson not willing to take risks with their fitness.

Winger Kyel Reid (groin) and striker Zavon Hines (ankle) are making good progress but are unlikely to return before Christmas, while Andrew Davies (knee) is not expected back for a month.

Fellow defender Luke Oliver (Achilles) is out for the rest of the season.

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