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Sky Bet League 2

Highbury Stadium (ATT 2,399) 8th December 2012 - Kick off 15:00 Ref: D Deadman

Fleetwood Fleetwood Town vs Southend United Southend

Fleetwood v Southend preview

Last Updated: 07/12/12 11:58am

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McNulty: Back in contention

McNulty: Back in contention

Team news ahead of Saturday's League Two clash between Fleetwood and Southend at Highbury Stadium.

Graham Alexander will lead Fleetwood for the first time against their fellow League Two promotion chasers.

Former Scotland international Alexander, who played over 1,000 games in a professional career that came to a close with Preston last season, was installed as Micky Mellon's successor on Thursday.

Alexander can expect to have Cod Army captain Steve McNulty fit after the centre-back hobbled off during the closing stages of last weekend's 3-2 FA Cup defeat to Aldershot - a third straight competitive loss that ultimately cost Mellon his job.

McNulty has shaken off a calf injury and could be joined by Rob Atkinson at the heart of the defence.

Atkinson was cup-tied last time out following his loan spell with Accrington this term, although he must displace versatile Crystal Palace loanee Alex Marrow in order to start.

Curtis Obeng (knee) should be passed fit to feature on either the right-hand side of defence or midfield, but the match is expected to come too soon for striker Jon Parkin (hamstring).

Gavin Tomlin and Mark Phillips are two of a handful of players who face fitness tests for Southend.

Forward Tomlin and defender Phillips both missed Tuesday's 2-1 Johnstone's Paint Trophy success over Brentford due to injury, and the pair face a race against time to be fit to line up against The Cod Army.

But they are not the only ones, with midfielder John Spicer (virus) among those also struggling.

Manager Paul Sturrock told the club's official website: "We've got a few niggles and knocks, we've now played 26 games in just a few months so it's tough.

"Gavin and Mark will have fitness tests along with a few others while there have been a couple like John Spicer who have been suffering from a virus."

Midfielder Michael Timlin definitely misses out having picked up his fifth booking of the season in midweek, incurring an automatic one-match suspension.

Marc Laird, however, does return to the fold having been cup-tied against Brentford.

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Matches

Table

Sky Bet League 2

Sky Bet League 2
Pos Team P Pts
1 Scunthorpe United 42 76
2 Rochdale 42 75
3 Chesterfield 42 74
4 Fleetwood Town 42 69
5 Burton Albion 42 68
6 Southend United 42 62
7 Oxford United 42 62
8 York City 42 61
9 Plymouth Argyle 42 58
10 Mansfield Town 42 56
11 Bury 42 54
12 Dagenham & Redbridge 42 54
13 Newport County AFC 42 53
14 AFC Wimbledon 42 52
15 Cheltenham Town 42 52
16 Portsmouth 42 51
17 Accrington Stanley 42 50
18 Hartlepool United 42 49
19 Morecambe 42 49
20 Exeter City 42 48
21 Bristol Rovers 42 47
22 Wycombe Wanderers 42 46
23 Northampton Town 42 46
24 Torquay United 42 39