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Match Previews

Colchester Preview

Andy Phillips previews the visit of Colchester United on Tuesday night.

26 September 2017

Town will have a quick chance to bounce back from defeat at the weekend on Tuesday night when they host Colchester United at Blundell Park (7:45pm).

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Russell Slade's men lost 1-0 at Newport County on Saturday after three wins in their previous four games and after successive home victories over Crewe Alexandra and Yeovil Town prior to this fixture, they will be looking to continue their good form in front of their own fans against a side that have struggled on the road so far this season in the U's.

This is the first of two home games this week and with the local derby against Lincoln City looming on Saturday afternoon, the Town boss will be eager to keep his players focused on this game first and foremost.

Slade says changes are likely

Boss Russell Slade said in his press conference on Monday that changes were likely with three games in a week, and mentioned that Siriki Dembele could be rested for the fixture, which could see Diallang Jaiyesemi come in after impressing in his cameo against Newport at the weekend.  

Zak Mills is likely to miss out again but is coming ever closer to full fitness and could be back for the derby clash with Lincoln City over the weekend, whilst Akwasi Asante, Chris Clements and Sean McAllister are all continuing their recovery from injuries that have seen them miss the majority of the early season.

Colchester will be without midfielder Tom Lapsie after he picked up his fifth booking of the season at the weekend and will serve a one match ban as a result, but John McGreal's side will welcome back striker Mikael Mandron to the fold after he completed a suspension of his own.

A difficult start for the U's 

It has been a tough start to the season for Colchester United thus far, and they sit in 20th place heading into the game.

Boss John McGreal lamented his side's inability to turn chances into goals at the weekend following their first home defeat of the season against Wycombe Wanderers, and he will be wanting to see an improvement with the U's yet to pick up a point on the road at the start of the season. 

The highlight of their season so far has been a 5-1 victory over Forest Green Rovers so they do have goals in them, and will be looking to convert more of their chances to climb up the table and make a push for the play-off places.

McGreal took over in May 2016 following the club's relegation from League One and his side narrowly missed out on the play-offs last campaign with an 8th placed finish, so one would expect them to get back to winning ways sooner rather than later.

Diminutive attacking midfielder Sammie Szmodics has already hit four goals this season and will be the one to watch out for after missing the tail end of last season with a broken leg, whilst they also have plenty of experience in winger Kyel Reid and former Port Vale man Doug Loft.

A win a piece last campaign

The two sides both shared a victory a piece in their two meetings last campaign.

Town's visit to the Colchester Community Stadium in August 2016 saw a nightmare start as they went 3-0 down within half an hour against the U's, but second half goals from Craig Disley and Omar Bogle kept things interesting in a 3-2 defeat.

The teams then met at Blundell Park in February, with a Sam Jones goal just before the break giving Town a 1-0 victory after a spirited backs to the wall job in the second half.

Town and Colchester have met 30 times over their history, with the U's winning 14 of those, Town winning 12 and there being six draws.

Managers in summary

Russell Slade: ''Colchester have been good at home, they've been playing three centre-backs by in large with two athletic win backs and they're a  threat with what they've got in the side. They've got threats and it's all about doing it right in the day and doing it up top. I'm looking for a strong performance individually and collectively and of course the points are invaluable as they are to all of us. ''

John McGreal: ''It’s all about the mind now – it’s about resetting the mind to put in a performance on Tuesday. Yes, we have a poor record away from home but I’ve said to the boys that they must be hurting after that performance (against Wycombe) to come away with nothing. We’ll be looking for a reaction and it just so happens that we’re away from home, so it’ll be interesting to see how we react.''

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