Colchester United Preview – SkyBet League One

A week has passed since the Sky Blues’ defeat to Northampton in the FA Cup, and supporters will be looking for something to cheer about this weekend as they face Colchester United. Despite being dumped out of every cup competition at the earliest stage, Mowbray’s side are flying high in SkyBet League One. With the league now the solitary focus, Coventry fans are expectant and optimistic.

Last season’s 1-0 win over the U’s at the Weston Homes Community Stadium wasn’t too exciting, but this term, it’s a game that is being backed to produce goals. The Essex-based side are always a tough team to overcome, and with their improvement this season, it should be a tightly contested duel.

Form

Colchester United go in to the weekend’s game on the back of an exciting 6-2 win of Wealdstone in the first round of the FA Cup. Their goal scoring exploits have caught some attention this season, and their fluency in attack could cause Coventry some problems. They currently sit with 25 goals to their name, despite sitting 16th in the division with 20 points.

In terms of recent league form, The U’s have not been performing and they’ve picked up only 1 win, 1 draw and 3 losses in their last five games. Tony Humes will be hoping his group of players can use the momentum from the FA Cup triumph, put in a good performance, and pick up three points to reignite their season.

The Sky Blues will be thriving for a response to their first defeat at the Ricoh Arena by picking up another positive result on the road. In the last five league games, the midlands outfit have amassed 2 wins and 3 draws to push themselves to just one point away from top spot.

Mowbray’s men currently sit in 4th position with 31 points. Supporters have been treated to some exhilarating football of late, with 16 goals coming for and against in just their last three league encounters. Although the Sky Blues have started to leak more goals defensively, they are still producing at the other end and they have scored 29 goals in their opening 16 league games.

Team News

The U’s will be without goalkeeper Sam Walker after he was ruled out for the entirety of the season, to the dismay of the Colchester supporters. Jamie Jones should continue his spell in goal although he was suffering with a hamstring strain.

Richard Brindley won’t feature due to an ankle inury and Alex Winter is also unavailable. Striker Chris Porter is also carrying a slight knock but he’s expected to be in the squad, whilst Gavin Massey remains doubtful. Apart from these few doubts, Humes has a healthy bill of players to select from as he seeks out a home win.

Coventry City will of course be without Reda Johnson, Jordan Willis and Ivor Lawton as the trio are all sidelined with long term injuries. Midfield starlet James Maddison is edging towards fitness, however, and he is expected to be introduced back in to the match day squad in the coming weeks after a lengthy rehabilitation process.
Tony Mowbray remains confident that Joe Cole will be available for the tie after he was rested for last weekend’s match. Reice Charles-Cook is also likely to regain his place in between the posts after an injury that was sustained in the warm-up versus Northampton saw him miss out. The duo of Adam Armstrong and Ryan Kent will be unavailable though, both are on international duty with England.

Ones To Watch: 

George Moncur

After plying his trade for both Tottenham Hotspur and West Ham United during his youth career, Moncur failed to flourish at Upton Park and subsequently saw himself loaned out to gain experience. Following stints at AFC Wimbledon and Partick Thistle, the midfielder made the move to Essex on loan in Summer of 2014.

After impressing during an initial few months, the deal was made permanent in November 2014 and he has grown in to a fans’ favourite ever since. Superb technical ability and an incredible eye for a pass makes him a standout player at this level, and scoring 7 goals in 18 appearances thus far in all competitions also highlights his striking capabilities.

Marvin Sordell

Sordell has had a fairly eventful career so far, despite only being 24 years of age. From representing Great Britain at the London Olympics in 2012 and England at Under-21 level, to playing League One football in 2015, the striker has undoubtedly failed to live up to his potential so far.

In the third tier of English football, the frontman’s ability will spark fear in to many defences and his acquisition is a real astute one. With bundles of pace and power, the former Watford man could be a real handful for the Sky Blues’ defence. He has 5 goals to his name so far this season, and he’ll be determined to add to that tally on Saturday.

Mogga’s View:

“They’ve got a lot of experience, good players. Moncur plays No.10 and he’s a very talented individual.”

”We’ll be travelling with the young lads on the bench again this weekend. Stevenson, Sambou, Kelly-Evans.”

”Bass (Bassala Sambou) is a unique character and a likeable boy. I try to keep his feet on the ground. He’s not necessarily in the team on merit but more out of necessity. That’s not to say he’s not talented.”

My Thoughts…

With the so called ‘distraction’ of the cup competitions now out of the way, we can focus entirely on our push up the League One table. The current stretching of our squad isn’t ideal, and Saturday’s fixture will be a very tough task in my opinion.

I’ve watched Colchester once already this season, the game ended in a 3-2 victory over Sheffield United. During that tie, the attacking potential of the side was plain to see and they could cause our back four some serious issues. However, they did look very shaky in defensive areas themselves, and even without Armstrong we should be able to punish them.

With a win potentially moving us up to the summit of the division, we’ve got to aim to win the game. It’s very tight in and around the top six and we have to stay consistent if we wish to stay in the upper echelons. Whilst a victory would be very welcome tomorrow, I can’t help but think a point wouldn’t be a bad pick up.

Of course, this feeling depends very much on how we perform. I believe we have enough quality to win the game despite Armstrong’s absence, but I’m unsure whether we will outscore them. Defensivly, we’ve got to switch on. If we manage to do that, we should come away from the game victorious. I’m going for a draw, however.

My Score Prediction:

Colchester United 2-2 Coventry City

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