Southend v Scunthorpe preview

Team news for Friday's League Two clash between Southend United and Scunthorpe United at Roots Hall.

Last Updated: 12/09/13 at 17:27

Cliff Byrne: Could return for Scunthorpe

Cliff Byrne: Could return for Scunthorpe

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Adam Thompson returns to contention for Southend's home clash against Scunthorpe on Friday night.

The on-loan centre-back missed last weekend's 3-1 home defeat to Morecambe - the club's third successive loss - due to his international commitments with Northern Ireland's Under-21 side.

Thompson was replaced at the heart of defence by fit-again Mark Phillips but he is firmly in the frame for a recall against the Iron.

Boss Phil Brown will assess one unnamed player struggling with injury, while midfielder Marc Laird and defender Julian Bennett are both sidelined with long-term knee problems as the Shrimpers aim to get back to winning ways.

Former captain Cliff Byrne has rejoined Scunthorpe on a three-month loan ahead of Friday night's game at Southend.

The Irishman previously spent nine years with the Iron - winning three promotions along the way - and joins from Oldham.

His arrival is timely as Christian Ribeiro is doubtful due to a groin injury.

Right-back Ribeiro, forced out of last week's draw at Northampton, faces a late fitness test and if he fails to make it Eddie Nolan is expected to drop back into defence from midfield.

Skipper Michael Collins (knee) is still struggling, so boss Brian Laws could keep Matt Sparrow in a more central midfield role and recall Terry Hawkridge to the starting line-up on the wing.

Striker Chris Iwelumo made his first start for the club last week and is likely to retain his place up front alongside Sam Winnall, while fellow strikers Deon Burton and Jimmy Spencer are also in contention.

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League Two Fixtures

Friday, 26 December 2014
13:00
Cambridge Utd v Southend
Portsmth v AFC W'don
14:00
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Burton Alb v Tranmere
Exeter v Cheltenhm
Mansfield v Hartlepool
Morecambe v Carlisle
Newport v Plymouth
Northamptn v Bury
Oxford Utd v Shrewsbury

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