Phil Brown's side look a good bet to take Millwall's scalp in Friday's FA Cup clash.
Millwall v Southend - Friday 19:45
Phil Brown’s best days are probably behind him, like many of his Southend players, but he still possesses the tactical flair to claim a prize scalp from time to time, and the likes of Anton Ferdinand, Marc-Antoine Fortune, Simon Cox and Nile Ranger still possess the ability to dismantle a team of Millwall’s calibre, even if they lack the desire to do it on a regular basis.
So the FA Cup should be an ideal competition for the Shrimpers and Brown is making no secret that his chairman, Ron Martin, is putting pressure on him to reach the next round after a dreadful start in League One. Take the 15/4 available on the away win. The Essex outfit have looked much more purposeful since the return of Anthony Wordsworth alongside Ryan Leonard in central midfield.
Millwall’s season has undergone a similar renaissance with four wins in the last five but Neil Harris harbours much greater ambitions beyond this game. Promotion is the be-all and end-all for the Lions and their record in the big cup competitions has been dismal over the past 15 months. League Two sides Barnet and Wycombe ended their knockout hopes at the New Den last season.
And backing Southend is more than just a leap of faith on the evidence of recent meetings. The Shrimpers were 3-1 winners at Roots Hall two months ago, before they got their act together, while they were 2-0 winners at this stadium last season, which is familiar scoreline whenever Brown does a number on bigger teams. You can back the Southend 2-0 correct score at 25/1.