A brief introduction
Argyle and Southend go into Saturday’s game in situations not entirely dissimilar from one another. Both sides have added depth to their squad this summer, are fancied by their own fans but lost their opening games of the season by a one-goal margin to sides considered more likely to be part of the relegation battle. Southend went down 3-2 at home to Doncaster in addition to Argyle’s well-documented loss at Walsall. Both sides will be looking to bounce back and avoid a patchy start to the season that would see them playing catch-up from the start. Argyle are typically awful on the opening game of the season and the first home game is hardly much better: we have only won our opener at Home Park twice in the past fifteen seasons (and thrice in the past nineteen).
Argyle will, however, take some comfort from the fact that Home Park is hardly a happy hunting ground for Southend fans. Last March’s 4-0 demolitions of the shrimpers was preceded by a series of Argyle wins and draws at home to the Essex club stretching back over a decade. Argyle have nearly a full squad to pick from with long term lay-off Antoni Sarcevic being the only absentee. Southend are notably without defender Harry Lennon who fractured a toe against Doncaster on his debut on Saturday.
Head to head.
This match has been evenly fought historically with Argyle winning 25 times, Southend 24 and it ending in a draw on 23 occasions.
Argyle are unbeaten at home to Southend on the last eight occasions they have visited Home Park.
Argyle lost 7 times in a row against the Shrimps in the 90s with the decade ending with one Argyle win.
Argyle (4-3-3): Macey, Moore, Edwards, Wootton, Smith-Brown, Fox, Ness, C Grant, Carey, Taylor, Lameiras.
Southend(4-4-2); Oxley, Demetriou, White, Turner, Coker, McLaughlin, Hyam, Kightly, Cox, Hopper.
It’s a tough one for sure- don’t be fooled by Southend’s opening day loss. They’re still a very capable side who should be up at the top end this season. They’ll also be smarting to bounce back from that demolition job in March. However, Argyle are also a good side who probably deserved a point from the game against Walsall on Saturday and could have got even more than that if not for some suspect refereeing and the decision to go 4-4-2 for a large spell of the second half. I’ll go for a hard-fought 1-1 that salvages hope for both sides yet truly turns the corner for neither.