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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 Burton Albion 46 94
2 Shrewsbury Town 46 89
3 Bury 46 85
4 Wycombe Wanderers 46 84
5 Southend United 46 84
6 Stevenage 46 72
7 Plymouth Argyle 46 71
8 Luton Town 46 68
9 Newport County AFC 46 65
10 Exeter City 46 64
11 Morecambe 46 63
12 Northampton Town 46 61
13 Oxford United 46 61
14 Dagenham & Redbridge 46 59
15 AFC Wimbledon 46 58
16 Portsmouth 46 57
17 Accrington Stanley 46 56
18 York City 46 52
19 Cambridge United 46 51
20 Carlisle United 46 50
21 Mansfield Town 46 48
22 Hartlepool United 46 45
23 Cheltenham Town 46 41
24 Tranmere Rovers 46 39