Southend United F.C. travel to Adams Park in search of their first points of the season against Wycombe Wanderers F.C.. The Shrimpers have lost all four of their league fixtures this season, however they did manage to defeat Stevenage F.C. in the League Cup earlier this month. On the other hand, the hosts have yet to lose a match in the third tier this season and currently occupy 4th position. It is quite the contrast in form for the former of these two teams who struggled for the majority of last season.
Wycombe Wanderers What To Watch
Last season saw the Chairboys sign goalkeeper Ryan Allsop following his release from Premier League side A.F.C. Bournemouth. Allsop had already been at the club on loan in 2016 and Wycombe had hoped he would be one of the first names on the team sheet for the entirety of the last campaign. However, last October he suffered an ankle ligaments injury which kept him out for a lengthy spell. Luckily, the 27-year-old stopper has bounced back and started all five competitive fixtures this season, keeping two clean sheets in the process. Manager Gareth Ainsworth will be hoping he can earn another on Saturday afternoon.
A new acquisition in the form of a loan deal is winger Paul Smyth. Wycombe have managed to gain the services of the Queens Park Rangers F.C. man who enjoyed a successful spell on loan with Accrington Stanley in League One last season. Smyth has already made an impression on the Wycombe faithful, scoring in their opening day victory against Bolton Wanderers. Always a menace, he could be a real danger for a fragile Southend defence.
Leading the line is the distinctive figure of Adebayo Akinfenwa. The veteran striker is into his 4 season with the club after spells with various teams in the lower leagues of English football. There was some skepticism from fans when Akinfenwa was kept on following the team’s promotion to the third tier in 2018, but the striker was a pivotal part in keeping his side in the division last season and fans will hope that he can help them finish a little higher this campaign.
Southend United What To Watch
A dire start to the season sees the Shrimpers in 22nd position before the weekend’s fixtures with only the financial plights of Bury F.C. and Bolton Wanderers F.C. keeping them from the bottom of the league table. It therefore looks like the signings Southend made in the close season have not been overly effective. One of the new players to arrive in Essex was former Premier League and Portland Timbers player Liam Ridgewell. The idea behind that particular signing might have been to instil a bit of experience at the back. However, Ridgewell has so far made only one appearance for the club and was substituted in the 52 minute. If the former Aston Villa defender is to have an impact upon the team, it may well be limited to the dressing room.
On the plus side for Southend, things can only get better. They will be hoping that Sam Mantom, a midfielder with plenty of League One experience, will be able to raise his and the rest of the squad’s performance considerably on Saturday. Mantom joined Southend last season after a two-year spell with Scunthorpe United F.C., having previously played for Walsall F.C. at this level too. There is no doubt that if Southend do improve this season, Mantom will be instrumental in this.
The major problem for Southend United this season has been putting the ball in the back of the net. They have scored one league goal this season and even then, they had to rely upon Blackpool’s Oliver Turton to turn the ball into his own net. Manager Kevin Bond will be hoping striker Simon Cox can finally find form sooner rather than later. Cox is another at the club who has previously played at a higher level, having turned out in the Premier League for West Bromwich Albion F.C.. If Southend are to go down, it will be because they don’t have a plethora of players who can score regularly. Cox certainly has the ability to do that, but time will tell regarding whether he can successfully step up to the mark.
Wycombe Wanderers vs Southend United Prediction
Wycombe Wanderers have certainly surprised a few people with how well they have started the season, with Southend’s poor start being more predictable. Unfortunately for the Shrimpers, I can’t see their first win of the season coming here either.
Prediction: Wycombe Wanderers - 2 Southend United - 0