Southend United are teetering on the verge of the play-off positions in the Sky Bet League One table right now. Such is the tight nature of the third tier table, the Shrimpers were actually struggling towards the bottom of the division not so long ago, but their vastly improved form of late has seen them rise up into seventh position just after the half-way point of the campaign.
Since going down 3-0 at Rochdale back in October in a defeat that saw some fans calling for Phil Brown's head, the former Hull City and Preston North End boss has led his side to an excellent 13 game unbeaten run in the league and with the confidence that appears to be flowing through the squad right now, odds of 16/5 for the home win with BetVictor
do seem quite long.
Phil Brown, manager of Southend United (Getty Images)
The reason that they are so long however, is because Sheffield United are the team to beat in the Sky Bet League One at the moment. The Blades were the pre-season favourites for promotion from the division and they're still favourites now as they sit top of the table with an excellent five game winning streak carrying them into pole position.
Having won promotion into this division as manager of Northampton Town last season, Blades boss Chris Wilder is now hoping to lead his boyhood club back to the Championship and if they continue performing as they have done in recent weeks, that shouldn't be too much of a problem. You can back the South Yorkshire side for another three points here at evens with William Hill
Although Sheffield United have won their last five league matches, we can see the hosts battling through for a draw in this game. The Shrimpers will not want to give their unbeaten record up without a serious fight and they come into this game on the back of two consecutive draws with Swindon Town and Charlton Athletic. You can back another tie here at 5/2 with BetVictor
We do however, fancy some goals in this game. Southend may have been held to a goalless draw by the Robins last time out, but they do possess some quality attacking players in the shape of former West Brom forward Simon Cox and goalscoring midfielder Anthony Wordsworth. The Shrimpers very rarely fail to find the net in front of their own fans at Roots Hall.
But they will be more than matched in attack by the quality of Chris Wilder's frontline with Sheffield United. Billy Sharp has scored no fewer than 17 goals in just 25 appearances this term and the likes of Mark Duffy and Stefan Scougall have chipped in with a few goals each also this term. Both teams to score looks good to us at odds of 5/6 with Ladbrokes