The U’s face a tough trip to The Hawthorns as they come up against promotion-chasing West Brom.
Geraint Williams men will be hoping to restore some pride after last weekend’s 5-1 thrashing at Norwich.
The Baggies have arguably the best squad in the division, but the U’s will be hoping to net their second victory of the season over Tony Mowbray’s side after a 3-2 win in October.
U’s manager Geraint Williams told The Colchester Gazette: ‘I don’t look at this game as do-or-die. I look at it that we are going there for a tough fixture against the division’s top-scorers.
‘We have to go there and be positive and get a result and we have not mentioned relegation once – that is not what we do.
‘What I’m asking from my players is desire and pride,’ he explained.
‘We are all playing for contracts next season and are playing for the pride in the shirt and for the people who travel and spend money watching us play. We have to remember all these things.’
Baggies boss Tony Mowbray told the Birmingham Mail: ‘It will be a tough game. There are no easy games.
‘I am sure our supporters now realise that having watched the Leicester game.
‘We all need to stay very focused and use great concentration levels in trying to win,’ he added.
‘They will look at our last few results at home and will be looking to make it a nervous occasion for us by being very solid and by not giving anything away early on.’
West Brom Team News:
Albion are set to welcome back Chris Brunt (hamstring) and James Morrison (ankle), along with Ishmael Miller who should feature after a groin injury.
Neil Clement should make the squad, after returning from a loan spell with hull, in place of Leon Barnett (hamstring).
Luke Moore (suspension) misses out, while Bartosz Slusarski has joined Sheffield Wednesday on loan.
Player to watch: Kevin Phillips
The much-travelled goal poacher is currently sitting top of the Championship scoring charts, with 19 goals to his name. The 34-year-old will be looking to add to his tally against a leaky U’s back line.
Colchester Team News:
U’s hot-shot Kevin Lisbie will have a late fitness check on the calf injury that forced him off against Norwich.
While captain Karl Duguid (knee) will also be given as long as possible to prove his fitness.
Chris Coyne (hamstring) could return, along with Mark Cousins (appendicitis). Teddy Sheringham (foot), Matt Heath and Kevin Watson (both calf) are set to miss out. While shoulder injuries keep Aiden Davison and Mark Yeates out.
Player to watch: Medy Elito
Elito will be hoping to celebrate his second England U18 call-up with a impressive peformance for the U’s. The tricky winger will be looking for his first goal in the blue and white stripes of Col U.
Match Facts & Stats
This fixture sees the highest goalscorers in the Championship, West Brom, come up against the leakest defence in the division, Colchester.
Referee: Graham Laws – From Tyne & Wear.
Yellow Cards: 62
Red Cards: 2
Assistants: M C Dexter and A C Newell
Fourth Official: S G Cooke
I’ll go for a 3-2 U’s win!
The U’s face Ipswich at Layer Road next Saturday.