After suffering a narrow 1-0 defeat at Gresty Road on Saturday, Southend must beat Crewe at 5/6 tonight to have any chance of making the League Two playoff final.
That will be no easy feat, with 10/3 Crewe now going 17 games unbeaten, but it should be noted that their last defeat came at Roots Hall, the venue of tonight’s clash.
Steve Davis’ travelling side would only need a draw to see them through to Wembley meanwhile, so some punters could take that on at 12/5.
Southend, somewhat surprisingly, have scored more goals on the road this term than they have on their own patch, but still average above a goal per game at home.
With only a win sufficient for Paul Sturrock’s men, they could be worth investment at 5/2 to win a game involving two or less goals, or alternatively at 13/2 to take the tie to extra-time with a 1-0 victory.
Three of the last four meetings of these sides have ended 1-0, though it has been Crewe who have emerged victorious via that margin in two of those games, so some punters could fancy the away side to repeat that success at 11/1 here.
Meanwhile, five of the last six encounters of these sides have incredibly ended with one team winning to nil, and Crewe have emanated triumphant on four of these occasions.
The Railwaymen are attributed an 11/2 price to win without conceding tonight, whilst the home side, who kept five consecutive clean sheets before Saturday, are 9/4 to achieve the same feat.
Freddy Eastwood leads the first scorer betting as a 9/2 chance, with the Welshman hoping to improve on his record of two goals in seven games since re-joining the Shrimpers on loan.
Nick Powell looks the visitors’ main danger meanwhile, and the 18-year-old is attributed a 7/1 price to open the scoring with his 16th goal of the season.