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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The club will also assess influential midfielder Peter Leven who was withdrawn at half-time after feeling unwell.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 Wycombe Wanderers 27 52
2 Shrewsbury Town 27 51
3 Burton Albion 27 51
4 Luton Town 26 47
5 Southend United 27 47
6 Newport County AFC 27 46
7 Bury 27 44
8 Stevenage 27 41
9 Exeter City 28 41
10 Plymouth Argyle 27 40
11 Morecambe 27 37
12 Cambridge United 26 36
13 AFC Wimbledon 26 36
14 Northampton Town 27 34
15 Accrington Stanley 26 33
16 Oxford United 27 30
17 Cheltenham Town 27 30
18 Portsmouth 26 29
19 York City 27 28
20 Mansfield Town 26 28
21 Tranmere Rovers 26 27
22 Dagenham & Redbridge 27 27
23 Carlisle United 27 27
24 Hartlepool United 27 18