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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The club will also assess influential midfielder Peter Leven who was withdrawn at half-time after feeling unwell.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 21 42
2 Shrewsbury Town 21 40
3 Luton Town 21 40
4 Burton Albion 22 40
5 Plymouth Argyle 21 37
6 Southend United 21 35
7 Newport County AFC 21 34
8 Exeter City 22 34
9 Bury 21 31
10 Morecambe 21 30
11 Accrington Stanley 21 30
12 Cambridge United 21 29
13 Stevenage 21 28
14 Portsmouth 21 27
15 AFC Wimbledon 21 27
16 Mansfield Town 21 26
17 Oxford United 21 25
18 Cheltenham Town 21 25
19 Northampton Town 21 24
20 Dagenham & Redbridge 21 21
21 Carlisle United 21 21
22 York City 21 20
23 Tranmere Rovers 21 19
24 Hartlepool United 21 13