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Sky Bet League 2

Roots Hall (ATT 5,596) 2nd February 2013 - Kick off 15:00 Ref: G Ward

Southend Southend United vs Oxford United Oxford Utd

Southend 1

R Leonard (85)

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Southend v Oxford Utd preview

Last Updated: 01/02/13 3:03pm

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Britt Assombalonga: Has been sorely missed

Britt Assombalonga: Has been sorely missed

Team news for Saturday's League Two clash between Southend and Oxford at Roots Hall.

Southend could have Britt Assombalonga available for the visit of the U's.

The on-loan striker has not featured since Boxing Day, when he injured his ankle in the victory over Dagenham.

In the seven games he has been absent, the Shrimpers have won just twice - a penalty shoot-out win over Oxford in the Johnstone's Paint Trophy and a 1-0 win against Chesterfield in the league on Saturday.

Assombalonga will be assessed ahead of the game but is expected to be involved in the squad, while midfielder Ben Reeves could be handed a debut after arriving on loan from Southampton.

Marc Laird and Caolan Lavery are doubts as they battle back from injury.

Midfielder Laird has been sidelined with a hamstring problem while on-loan striker Lavery is struggling with a knock. Both will face fitness tests ahead of the game.

Oxford will be without veteran defender Michael Duberry.

The 37-year-old was taken off after just 21 minutes of the 1-1 draw with Burton with a hamstring injury and he confirmed on Twitter that he expects to be out for between two to three weeks.

He was replaced by Tuesday night by Michael Raynes and the centre-back could get the nod from the start at Roots Hall.

The club will also assess influential midfielder Peter Leven who was withdrawn at half-time after feeling unwell.

One player who will be available is striker Justin Richards after he missed the midweek draw as he is on loan from the Brewers.

His return gives Chris Wilder a striking headache after James Constable scored on his return from suspension alongside Tom Craddock.

Oxford sit just four points behind their weekend opponents, with the Shrimpers currently occupying the final play-off place in npower League Two.

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Matches

Table

Sky Bet League 2

Sky Bet League 2
Pos Team P Pts
1 Burton Albion 38 76
2 Shrewsbury Town 38 71
3 Wycombe Wanderers 38 71
4 Bury 38 67
5 Southend United 38 63
6 Luton Town 38 58
7 Newport County AFC 38 58
8 Plymouth Argyle 38 57
9 Stevenage 38 57
10 Exeter City 38 54
11 Northampton Town 38 53
12 AFC Wimbledon 38 52
13 Portsmouth 38 49
14 Morecambe 38 49
15 Dagenham & Redbridge 38 49
16 Accrington Stanley 38 46
17 Mansfield Town 38 45
18 Cambridge United 38 44
19 Oxford United 38 43
20 Carlisle United 38 41
21 York City 38 38
22 Tranmere Rovers 38 37
23 Cheltenham Town 38 37
24 Hartlepool United 38 36