Southend v Millwall - Saturday 15:00
Pressure is mounting on Phil Brown with his Southend side on a wretched run of one win in 15 matches, but that solitary victory was a remarkable one - an emphatic 3-0 success at Sheffield United - and it could suit the Shrimpers to be cast as no-hopers against title favourites Millwall this weekend. Take chunky odds of 7/2 about the home win.
Brown has described his current plight as the biggest challenge of his managerial career and it’s difficult to envisage him in charge at Roots Hall come Christmas. But he’s nothing if not innovative in pursuit of short-term goals. With so much at stake and a full week to prepare, he posseses the tactical nous to conjure up a game plan that puts the Lions to the sword.
Neil Harris’ men haven’t quite found their stride yet this term. Generally speaking, they are starting games slowly and finishing strong, which once again could be a microcosm of their season as a whole. So while it’s hard to argue with their position at the head of the outright market, now probably isn’t a bad time to be taking them on.
When the Lions do come a cropper, the damage is usually done early and there’s additional value to be found in the Southend/Southend half time/full time outcome at 7/1. When Brown finds a tactical edge, he usually makes it count quickly. When the Shrimpers triumphed at Bramall Lane, they scored all three of their goals inside the first 15 minutes.