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Goalkeeper Paulo Gazzaniga gets the nod to start for Gillingham against Southend at Priestfield

Paulo Gazzaniga
Paulo Gazzaniga

Gillingham manager Andy Hessenthaler will make at least two changes to the side for Monday's game against Southend at Priestfield.

Rookie keeper Paulo Gazzaniga, pictured, who came on at half-time in the 4-3 defeat at Accrington, will start the game, which is live on Sky, with Ross Flitney out for a month following a knee operation.

A knee injury will also sideline Charlie Lee, with youngster Jack Evans favourite to play at right-back ahead of the experienced Matt Lawrence.

Defender Connor Essam, who has been on loan at Dartford, will also be in the Gillingham squad but Matt Fish and Simon King are ruled out.

Hessenthaler, who saw the weekend's trip to Burton postponed by a 9am pitch inspection on Saturday, said: "We want to play a game and get back on track. We’re still hurting from two weeks ago (against Accrington) and we want to put that right."

Midfielder Jack Payne (ankle) is a doubt but Danny Spiller could return for his first piece of action since September. Leading scorer Danny Kedwell missed training last week due to a virus but Hessenthaler will hope he is fit to start alongside Jo Kuffour (knee).

The Priestfield pitch has been under frost covers for the past 10 days but, with temperatures due to increase, there are no worries about the match. Kick-off is at 7.45pm.

Gillingham's youth keeper Ashley Bourne, meanwhile, has joined Sevenoaks on work experience.

Do you think Gazzaniga can take his chance to establish himself as Gillingham's No.1 keeper in Flitney's absence? Have your say below.

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