Much of the talk ahead of this Johnstone’s Paint Trophy Final clash has surrounded the controversial dismissal of former Southend manager Paul Sturrock and his subsequent refusal to lead the side out at this showpiece.
However, the Shrimpers will be more concerned by the fact they have won only two of their last 13 matches in all competitions, making them the 2/1 oustiders.
They face a Crewe side who have lost just one of their previous six and have recent experience of a Wembley success after securing League One status with a victory at the national stadium in last season’s League Two play-off final.
It was the south coast club that Alex disposed of in the play-off semis last term and they look good value at 11/8 to do the business in 90 minutes here.
The team from the Northern side of the draw have lifted the trophy in the previous two years and it is 4/6 that this year completes the hat-trick, while glory for the Southern section is priced at 11/10.
Those expecting a tight affair and the possible excitement of extra-time and penalties will want to back the draw at 9/4.
Encouragement for said punters will come from the north-west outfit’s three stalemates in their preceding four as well as this pair sharing the spoils in their last meeting.
Barry Corr has been the man with the goals during Southend’s run to the final, hitting three in the three rounds prior to this and he is 8/1 to break the deadlock here.
Newcastle loanee Brad Inman has been the catalyst for the Railwaymen’s impressive showing in this competition, netting three in as many games on route to the final, he is an interesting proposition at 10/1 to notch first.
Both these sides find the net on a regular basis but they also have their problems at the back.
Crewe have netted and conceded in five of their last seven while their opponents have been breached and hit the target in six of their previous seven outings.
Both teams to find the net in this one is available at 3/4.