Below we run through all you need to know ahead of the Whites’ meeting with the Shrimpers at the UniBol.
Wanderers (4-4-1-1): Matthews, Emmanuel, Zouma, Wright, Chicksen, Dodoo, Graham, Lowe, O’Grady, Darcy, D Murphy
Southend (4-5-1): Bishop, Bwomono, Kiernan, Dieng, Lennon, Demetriou, Mantom, Milligan, Goodship, McLaughlin, Humphrys
Former England international centre-back took his first steps in football management at Macclesfield Town last season, steering the club to League Two safety after a disastrous start to the season. Left the Silkmen three games into this campaign and took over at Roots Hall in October but has not been able to arrest the slide they had experienced under Kevin Bond and caretaker boss Gary Waddock.
Shrimpers chairman Ron Martin says the struggling League One club would ‘go bust tomorrow’ if he left and withdrew his funding. (BBC)
Though they are facing five straight games against teams in the bottom seven Sol Campbell does not feel the Shrimpers are facing a make-or-break spell in their season. (Southend Echo)
Sam Mantom, Stephen McLaughlin and Brandon Goodship all had to be taken off injured in the second half against Rotherham but Campbell is confident none are too serious. (Southend Echo)
Harry Lennon has apologised after being filmed out with Dover players after last month’s FA Cup defeat by the non-league side. A video on social media showed the defender in a pub wearing his Southend tracksuit after they had lost the tie 1-0. (BBC)
WHO MAKES THEM TICK?
At the back: Elvis Bwomono – a rare bright spot for Southend this season, the full-back has been keeping veteran Jason Demetriou out of the side when he returned from injury.
In the middle: Sam Mantom – arguably their best attacking threat from midfield when running beyond the strikers. Scored a fine goal to put them 2-1 up against the Millers.
Going forward: Stephen Humphrys – former Fulham trainee is the Shrimpers’ top scorer with five goals despite sitting out the whole of November with a thigh injury.
THEY SAID IT
“The performances are getting better and the confidence is coming too.
“It was disappointing the goals we gave away but I still felt as though we showed a different side to us.
“We dug in for the final 20 minutes when they were coming at us and it’s a great point.” – Cyprus international Jason Demetriou remains positive after their last outing, a 2-2 draw with Rotherham.
Played – 18
Wanderers wins – 7
Draws – 6
Southend wins – 5
Wanderers win – 10/11
Draw – 5/2
Southend win – 3/1
Ben Toner: Lancashire official who has overseen 17 matches this season, showing 57 yellow and four red cards. This will be the first Wanderers game in which he has officiated.
While Wanderers have drawn one and lost three of their last four games, Southend’s most recent League One victory came at MK Dons in September, the last time they kept a clean sheet.
Southend’s last win at Bolton came in 1994. In the 2016/17 season a 1-1 draw at the UniBol was followed by an away win for Wanderers, Mark Beevers hitting the only goal of the game in stoppage time.
Southend have two mascots, Sammy the Shrimp, a past winner of the Ugliest Mascot award at the same time as their second touchline patroller, Elvis J Eel, won Best Dressed Mascot.
On open sale: Adults from £20, over-65s from £12, under-23s from £12, u18s: £10.
LEAGUE ONE FIXTURES
Saturday (3pm unless stated): Blackpool v Shrewsbury, Bolton Wanderers v Southend, Bristol Rovers v Peterborough, Burton v Rochdale, Coventry v Lincoln, Doncaster v Accrington, Gillingham v MK Dons (1pm), Oxford v Wycombe, Portsmouth v Ipswich, Rotherham v Fleetwood, Tranmere v AFC Wimbledon.