The day has arrived. The O`s will make the short trip East, down the A127 later today in an attempt to reverse the score line from the first leg where the League 2 side were able to clinch a valuable goal lead going into the tie back at Roots Hall. OrientVital previews tonight`s clash, which could be defined as the most important match ever to be played between both teams.
Southend United Team News:
Southend could have as many as nine players out for tonight`s second leg as they face an injury crisis.
In defence they could potentially be without three of the back four that played at Orient. Ryan Creswell is serving the last game of a three match ban after being sent off in their draw at Accrington; whilst controversial figure Bihel Moshni is also suspended. Chris Barker and Mark Phillips are facing late fitness tests on calf and toe injuries respectively.
Former O Marc Laird and Michael Spillane are cup tied, top scorer Gavin Tomlin is still not ready to return from injury whilst Michael Timlin is expected to miss the rest of the season after suffering leg damage in the first leg. Finally Sheffield Wednesday loanee Caolan Lavery has returned to Hillsborough to receive treatment on a hamstring problem.
Player to watch: Britt Assombalonga
The pacey forward gave Mathieu Baudry problems in the first leg with his pace, skill and strength and despite not scoring he did help in the creation of Southend`s sole strike at Brisbane Road two weeks ago.
With so many injury issues, the home side will be looking to him and likely attacking partner Freddy Eastwood to provide the goals to see off Orient.
Leyton Orient Team News:
Gary Sawyer is set to miss out the game after being stretchered off in the weekend defeat to Hartlepool with a suspected broken leg, although the extent of the injury is yet to be confirmed by the club.
This will require a change in the backline, with Leon McSweeney or Elliott Omozusi likely to fill the hole emptied by Sawyer.
Kevin Lisbie and Lee Butcher are still absentees for the visitors whilst Charlie MacDonald is cup tied.
Player to watch: Lee Cook
The winger has had plenty to say to BBC Sport in the build up to the game, stating that all the pressure is on Southend tonight. But the ex-QPR man will have to show the pressure doesn’t get to him if he wants to help his side to Wembley. Cook is still capable on his day of destroying teams at lower league level and if he can be on the top of his game, he could give Orient a crucial advantage in tonight`s game.
Match Facts & Stats
The last time the two teams met at Roots Hall, The O`s were the victors thanks to a 4-3 win on penalties (AET 1-1) in the Carling Cup First Round. The previous two clashes before that in Southend finished 3-0 to the hosts. The last JPT game these two played at Roots Hall, Leyton Orient won 4-2. A result like that again would be just the tonic for O`s fans tonight.
The next fixture in this competition for tonight`s successful team is the Trophy final at Wembley.
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