Southend boss Steve Tilson is hopeful of including midfielder Anthony Grant in his squad to face fellow strugglers Exeter.

Grant is on the way back from an ankle injury and is expected to feature sooner than expected for the Shrimpers given their shortage of players in the middle of the park.

Tilson has Franck Moussa available as his only recognised central midfielder due to suspensions to Alan McCormack and Jean Francois-Christophe.

Midfielder and long-term absentee Stuart O'Keefe is still sidelined and will require surgery on a hernia that will keep him out for the next six weeks.

The Shrimpers slipped into the relegation zone in League One last weekend after suffering a 3-0 defeat to Hartlepool, their fourth consecutive loss.

Exeter boss Paul Tisdale is set to stick with an unchanged starting line-up for the relegation six-pointer.

City ended a three-match losing streak with last weekend`s 1-1 home draw against Oldham and Tisdale is expected to keep faith with the same players who started against the Latics.

The Grecians boss may be tempted to make a change in attack, however, with Marcus Stewart hoping to start in place of on-loan West Brom striker Marcus Haber.

Playmaker Alex Russell is still sidelined with a back injury.

Andy Marriott is fit again following a neck problem, but he is likely to be on the bench once again as Paul Jones continues in goal.

Exeter and Southend are both four points from safety in League One, with Tisdale`s men only ahead of the Shrimpers on goal difference.

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