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Kings of Anglia Issue 9 Magazine Offer

Cambridge United v Colchester United, main preview: Options galore for manager John McGreal

PUBLISHED: 06:02 02 September 2017

Ryan Innis, left, who should add competition for places in the U's back-line as soon as he shrugs off a knee injury. Picture: BEN QUEENBOROUGH

Ryan Innis, left, who should add competition for places in the U's back-line as soon as he shrugs off a knee injury. Picture: BEN QUEENBOROUGH

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It almost feels like an era has dawned at Colchester United, following the arrival of five new players on transfer deadline day on Thursday.

And yet it is not clear how many, if any, of these five will go straight into the U’s team for today’s short trip to East Anglian rivals Cambridge United.

Firstly, the U’s hammered Forest Green Rovers 5-1 in their last league outing, last weekend, to record their first win of the season, so manager John McGreal will be loathe to make too many changes to that starting XI.

And secondly, all the new recruits have played precious little in the way of first-team football during the first month of this campaign, and so are not all fully-match fit.

It will be surprising, though, if none of them make their Colchester debuts today.

Centre-half Ryan Inniss, recruited late on Thursday night from Crystal Palace, looks certain to have a big role to play in bolstering the U’s defence, while tenacious midfielder Brandon Comley is as keen as mustard to get started, following his loan switch from QPR.

Front-runners Sanmi Odelusi (former Wigan Athletic) and Nicke Kabamba (on loan from Portsmouth) should also be in today’s squad, while Charlton loanee Brandon Hanlan is yet another option.

Boss John McGreal therefore has a few selection headaches this afternoon, and should certainly have some good alternatives to call upon from his substitutes’ bench, which has not always been the case this term.

The U’s have yet to pick up a point on their travels this season, following two defeats at Accrington Stanley (3-1) and Luton (3-0), but they will be full of confidence going into today’s stern test at the Abbey Stadium.

“It’s been a good last week for us,” enthused McGreal.

“We took our chances against Forest Green, although we were very wasteful against Reading Under-23s (2-2 draw in the Checkatrade Trophy) in midweek.

“I have no worries about putting the younger lads in. That’s where we are as a club at the moment.

“The injuries happened to have come to our experienced players (Kurtis Guthrie, Luke Prosser, Brennan Dickenson and Doug Loft), and we haven’t been able to add to our experienced boys.

“Bur we have managed to get some bodies in,” added McGreal.

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