Southend v Chesterfield - Saturday 15:00

Phil Brown is vowing to fight on as Southend boss, despite a third straight heavy defeat on the road at Rochdale last weekend. The Shrimpers went down 3-0 at Spotland, on the back of successive 4-0 hidings at Scunthorpe and Northampton, prompting Brown to naturally isolate those results from the bigger picture. The -11 aggregate accounts for their -11 goal difference.

But the problem runs much deeper. Captain Adam Barrett is already talking about a relegation battle, much to the surprise of veteran Chesterfield defender Ian Evatt, and Steve Eyre, the former Rochdale boss, was damning in his detailed criticism of what he witnessed as co-commentator for local radio. He called a thumping win for Dale before they’d even taken the lead.

All things considered, Southend are a team to be opposed for as long as Brown remains in charge. They shouldn’t really be favourites against anyone. Chresterfield might be on a miserable run of one win in eight matches but they’ve been stuck in the midst of an injury crisis, carrying a small squad and playing players at roughly 60-70 per cent of their capacity.

However, that crisis appears to be easing. No manager welcomed the international break more than Danny Wilson. He gave his players the whole weekend off and reports a much sharper intensity to their training sessions since. Take the 2/1 about the away win but don’t stop there. Back the 11/2 about the Spireites to clear the -1 handicap as well.

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Chesterfield to win - 1pt @ 2/1
Chesterfield -1 on the handicap - 1pt @ 11/2