Boxing Day in The Football League is set to be a lively affair, particularly for rivals Colchester United and Southend United.The Essex pair will lock horns at the Weston Homes Community in Sky Bet League 1, with bragging rights on the line.
The visiting Southend beat Bury 4-1 last time out to go seven games unbeaten and move within touching distance of the Play-Off places.
In contrast, Colchester lost 3-1 to Rochdale last week - their seventh defeat on the spin which saw them hit rock bottom of the division.
A host of former U’s players now line up in the blue of Southend, and will be visiting familiar territory on Boxing Day.
David Mooney, Cian Bolger, Ben Coker, Anthony Wordsworth and John White now all play for the Roots Hall club and captain White is particularly relishing the match.
"I've only been back to the stadium once when there's been a game on, so it will be great to come back and play," he told his former club’s official website.
"We've been looking forward to it since day one, as soon as the fixtures came out back in June.
"It's kind of crept up on everyone – it seemed so far away at first but it’s here now and it's going to be a special one and fantastic atmosphere."
Fingers = crossed
Southend boss Phil Brown believes his men are full of confidence going into the encounter and has called on the Blues supporters to make it feel like a home match.
“We’ll go into it with our tails up,” he told southendunited.co.uk.
“We’re not taking anything for granted, it doesn't matter where they are in the table. They’re our local rivals and they'll be fighting for everything.
“Could we can make it a home game? Could we make it a home atmosphere? Fingers crossed we can.”
The Boxing Day match will see Kevin Keen take to the Colchester dugout for the first time since his announcement as the club’s new boss.
Can he make a winning start against their fierce rivals? Find out by following the action on Twitter via @SkyBetLeague1 on Boxing Day.
So the Kevin Keen era starts in earnest today. Who's coming along this weekend to see his first game? #ColUpic.twitter.com/lEED32Ir8y— Colchester United FC (@ColU_Official) December 22, 2015