THIS IS the most eagerly awaited fixture of the season, as Colchester United welcome Essex rivals Southend United to the Weston Homes Community Stadium.
The U’s have lost their last two games, following a nine match unbeaten run, and will be looking to re-capture that impressive form tomorrow.
The Shrimpers put in a disappointing display on Tuesday night and will also be looking to find some consistency.
Colchester boss Paul Lambert told the club’s official website: ‘We’ve had the two defeats, but we’re not going to let it blight what the lads have achieved over the previous couple of months.
‘And we’re not going to change things dramatically on the back of two games. The lads have done really well and we are certainly ready for Saturday’s game, it’s going to be a great one for us.
‘We know how much it means to the supporters and the people of Colchester.
‘Derby games are important to everyone and the players are really eager for this match to arrive and to make the most of the atmosphere.
‘There is no doubt we’re ready for it. We want to go out and win this game.’
Southend counterpart Steve Tilson told Blues World: ‘It’s a local derby and a big game for both sides in different ways.
‘They are going for the play-offs and we want the three points to push ourselves nearer the 50 point mark.
‘That is our first target and when we get 50 points, we can then reassess it.
‘It’s important we bounce at Colchester. They had a disappointing start to the season, but up until they recently lost to Tranmere, they were nine games unbeaten.
‘They were on a good run of form and spent a lot of money in the summer, so they will be looking to get into the play-offs.’
Colchester United Team News:
Defender Paul Reid misses out through suspension so Matt Heath or Chris Coyne will come in.
Record signing Steven Gillespie returns to the squad following a calf injury, but John White (shoulder) and Johnnie Jackson (chest) are both out.
U’s squad: Walker, Cousins, Maybury, Tierney, Heath, Coyne, Baldwin, Perkins, Hammond, Izzet, Wordsworth, Hackney, Vernon, Platt, Wasiu, Gillespie, Yeates, Gobern, Guy.
Player to watch: Jamie Guy
The U’s youth academy product was handed only his second ever start in a blue and white striped shirt last weekend and will be looking to perform well once again.
Southend United Team News:
Striker Francis Laurent returns after an ankle injury for the visitors.
James Walker (hamstring) and Alex Revell (broken leg) are both unavailable.
Player to watch: Theo Robinson
After joining The Blues on loan he will be looking to build on his goal last weekend, in the twenty-ninth biggest rivalry in English Football.
Last Time Out:
Southend 3-3 Colchester
Venue: Roots Hall
Southend: Federici, Francis, Clarke, Barrett, Harding (Sankofa 46), Betsy, Sawyer, Christophe, Robson-Kanu (McCormack 82), Laurent (Scannell 76), Revell.
Subs Not Used: Grant, Walker.
Goals: Clarke 8, Laurent 13, Barrett 90.
Colchester: Gerken, White, Coyne (Heath 24), Baldwin, Jackson, Yeates, Izzet, Hammond, Perkins, Vernon (Wasiu 69), Platt (Wordsworth 74).
Subs Not Used: Cousins, Ifil.
Booked: Coyne, Hammond, Jackson, Wordsworth, Wasiu.
Goals: Jackson 35, Yeates 71, Wordsworth 81.
Referee: Mike Russell (Hertfordshire).
Referee: Kevin K Wright (Cambridgeshire)
Assistants: S J Ross and R Lee
Fourth Official: G S Evetts
StevieG Col U’s prediction: I’ll go for a 3-1 U’s win!
What do you think the score will be? Lets us know in the space provided below!
The U’s entertain Stockport County on Tuesday night, while The Shrimpers host Scunthorpe United.
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