Steve Ball's side travel to Roots Hall for the first time since 2017, looking to take three points from Southend United in the Essex Derby.
Manager - Mark Molesley
Top Scorer(s) - James Olayinka (3)
Last Result - Mansfield Town 1-1 Southend United 19/12/2020
It will be the first competitive Essex Derby of the season on Boxing Day afternoon, when Steve Ball's side travel to Roots Hall in search of their second away victory of the season.
The U's thumped the Shrimpers 6-1 at the JobServe Community Stadium back in November in the Papa John's Trophy, albeit with both sides already eliminated from the competition. Pride was still up for grabs though, and Colchester United took full advantage and came out on top.
This time there will be three points to play for in the league, with both sides desperate to take them. The U's will want to get back to winning ways after falling to a first home defeat of the season last weekend against Morecambe, while Southend will want to continue their good form, and could move off the foot of the table with a win.
"We are in a good place, but we are certainly not getting ahead of ourselves. We treat each game in isolation." - Mark Molesley
"This is no different to any other game to us, the way we prepare and the way we plan. It is one we are very much looking forward to, but we can't take our eyes off the ball."
"It's the first one that everyone looks for when the fixtures come out, we know how important it is to our fans, but we have got to remain calm and clinical and make sure that we execute our game plan to the best of its ability."
Southend have found joy in their last few games setting up in a 4-2-3-1 formation, with Emile Acquah leading the line for the Shrimpers, with top scorer James Olayinka sitting just behind to support the front man.
Molesley's side is also boosted by the additions of Simeon Akinola who was finally registered to play in December after joining at the start of the season. Other additions include Sam Hart, who returned to the Blues, as well as former Colchester United man, Greg Halford who scored on his debut in the 3-1 win over Grimsby Town.
At the back for Southend, Mark Oxley will command the defence from between the sticks, with the experienced Shaun Hobson also a key figure in Molsley's team. The full backs of Elvis Bwomono and Tom Clifford will also likely get forwards, with Clifford finding the net twice this season.
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