Juvhel Tsoumou will once again plough a lone furrow in attack as Preston host the League Two club.
North End are in the midst of a striker crisis with Iain Hume (knee), Neil Mellor (ankle) and Jamie Proctor (hernia) all out, and although debutant Jonathan Forte joined Tsoumou up front in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy clash with Rochdale in midweek, the terms of his loan from Southampton rule the former Scunthorpe man out of contention.
Elsewhere, boss Phil Brown has no new injury concerns, with Tuesday night’s penalty shoot-out hero Thorsten Stuckmann set to continue between the posts as Iain Turner (broken foot) remains sidelined, while midfielder Paul Coutts is back from suspension.
Brown is expecting Paul Sturrock’s high-flying Blues to provide a stern physical challenge.
“Southend are a big strong team and they try to get the ball forward quickly, so we’ve got to be able to deal with that,” he said.
“If we can get our passing game going with the confidence from Tuesday night then hopefully we’ll progress through to the second round of the FA Cup.”
Luke Daniels is available for Southend’s trip.
The on-loan West Brom goalkeeper handed the Shrimpers a huge boost this week when it was revealed he would be extending his stay at the League Two leaders and, as part of the deal, was cleared for FA Cup duty.
Daniels was initially made ineligible by Albion and unavailable to manager Paul Sturrock, who would have been facing a goalkeeper crisis at Deepdale with Glenn Morris (thigh) and Daniel Bentley (back) still working their way back from injury.
Midfielder Anthony Grant starts a three-match suspension for his red card in Tuesday’s Johnstone’s Paint Trophy victory at Oxford, while striker Blair Sturrock is a doubt with an adductor strain which forced him off in the second half at the Kassam Stadium.
Sturrock is also sweating over the fitness of two unnamed players who are struggling with illness ahead of the clash.
But midfielder JP Kalala does come back into contention having missed the last two matches due to family reasons.