COLCHESTER UNITED open their League One campaign with a tough trip to Norwich City.
Paul Lambert takes his new-look U’s side to Norfolk, with an optimistic view ahead of the new season.
Lambert: Game Is ‘Great’ Test
U’s boss Lambert said: ‘I’m surprised to see Norwich in this division, but then you have to look at Leeds United, Charlton and Southampton, who were all in the Premier League not so long ago.
‘You have to earn the right to be where you want to be. Norwich away is a great test for us, and it’s no surprise that they are one of the favourites to go up, with the size of the club and the players they have signed,’ he continued.
‘There should be a brilliant atmosphere at Carrow Road. If you don’t want to play there, then you’ve got a problem!’
Norwich City Team News:
Both City new-boys Jens Berthel Askou and Goran Maric have received international clearance and are available for selection.
Fellow new signings Michael Nelson (head) should be fit, however, Rhoys Wiggins will miss out.
Player to watch: Grant Holt
After being the subject of strong transfer interest from the U’s, which came to nothing, Holt penned a deal with City. The big-striker will be looking to show his new side what he’s about.
Colchester United Team News:
Six summer signings could all make their U’s debuts against City.
Goalkeeper Ben Williams is likely to start in goal, while Lee Beevers and Magnus Okounghae, are both likely to feature in the back four.
Another recent acquisition, David Fox could start in the centre-of-midfield. While Gary Holt and Joel Thomas are more likely to be on the bench.
The returning Kevin Lisbie is likely to feature at some point and will make his second U’s bow.
The U’s have two injury absentees, defender Paul Reid (knee) and forward Steven Gillespie (hamstring).
Player to watch: Kevin Lisbie
The pacy front-runner will be hoping to make a big impact after re-joining the U’s on a season-long loan. Lisbie, a former Canairy, could be set to start on the bench, as he lacks match fitness but could still prove vital.
Last Time Out:
Norwich 5-1 Colchester
Venue: Carrow Road
Norwich: Marshall, Otsemobor, Shackell, Doherty (Pearce 46), Bertrand, Huckerby (Rigters 78), Fotheringham, Russell, Pattison (Croft 54), Dublin, Cureton.
Subs Not Used: Camara, Evans.
Goals: Otsemobor 6, Cureton 36, 53 pen, 87, Dublin 90.
Colchester: Gerken, Ifil, Virgo, Balogh, White, Hammond, Jackson, Izzet, Elito (Vernon 46), Platt, Lisbie (Wordsworth 70).
Subs Not Used: Bankole, Baldwin, Guy.
Goals: Lisbie 41.
Referee: Mark Haywood (W Yorkshire).
Referee: R L Shoebridge
Assistants: I J Crouch and A R Parker
Fourth Official: M Bull
StevieG Col U’s prediction: I’ll go for a 1-1 draw!
Who? Leyton Orient (League Cup)
Where? Weston Homes Community Stadium
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