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Colchester vs. Stoke

Layer Road

26.04.2008

15:00

U's vs Stoke

Stoke City are the last ever visitors to Layer Road, as they lock horns with the U's tomorrow.

The U's will be looking to go out on a high following last week's dreadful defeat to Coventry. It is the end of an era for the U's as they prepare to move to their new 10,000 all-seater stadium at Cuckoo Farm next season.

Not only is it a big day for Gertaint Williams men, but his fellow Countrymen Tony Pulis could see his side promoted. The Potters can seal their route to the Premier League, if they beat the U's and Hull loss to Crystal Palace.

Vital Quotes:

U's boss Geraint Williams told The Colchester Gazette: 'We have to put the fact that it's the last game at Layer Road out of our minds.

'Stoke are a strong side and they will come to us looking for promotion to the Premier League.

'They're a big physical, very well-organised side.

'They cause you a lot of problems from set pieces, throw-ins and corners and we have to stand up to that.

'That will be a big test and it's been proven by their results this year that people haven't been able to handle that.'

Stoke manager Tony Pulis, who is good friends with the U's chief, told The Sentinel: 'George (Geraint) did a fantastic job last year. Then he lost Jamie Cureton and Chris Iwelumo, who scored something like 40 goals for them. If you take 40 goals out of any team, you'll struggle.

'On the basis they had got promoted, they were on a roll and had a good start in their first year in the Championship. They've found it a bit tougher this year.

'If they have aspirations of getting back in the Championship next year - which I know they will - I think it's time for them to move on (from Layer Road).

'They understand that and I'm sure George will be looking forward to getting this game over with and moving on next year.

'But they have decent players who could cause us problems if we're not right on it.

'The biggest thing we have to be wary of is that they lost their last game 5-1.

'I know how competitive George is and he'll have them fired up.'

Colchester Team News:

On-loan U's defender Matt Heath (groin) should feature, after missing last weekend's defeat to Coventry.

Veteran striker Teddy Sheringham (foot) is back in full training and could play.

Irishman Mark Yeates, Pat Baldwin and Aiden Davison (all shoulder) are long-term absentees.

Player to watch: Medy Elito

Elito has been an impressive figure for the U's since making his debut at Crystal Palace, so much so that he has attracted the attention of the Premiership.

The left-winger will be hoping to put in a good performance, once again.

Stoke Team News:

City are hopeful that Mali front-man Mamady Sidibe (ankle) will be passed fit to play, if not Shola Ameobi could start.

Dominic Matteo (foot) is pushing for return, while Salif Diao (hamstring) is close to full-fitness.

Full-back Andy Griffin (hamstring) misses out.

Player to watch: Mamady Sidibe

Sidibe should feature after an ankle injury, and is good form following last week's brace over Bristol City.

The 6ft 4in target man will be looking to cause the U's backline problems.

Match Facts & Stats

Last time out against The Potters:

6th October - The Britannia Stadium

Stoke 2 (Shawcross 8, Lawrence 73)

U's 1 (Platt 58)

The U's lined up: Gerken, Duguid (Balogh 33), Baldwin, Virgo, Elokobi, Granville (Guy 77), Jackson, Izzet, Yeates, Lisbie, Platt.

Attendance: 12,395.

Ref Watch:

Referee: Kevin A Friend - From Leicestershire.

Games: 37

Yellow Cards: 92

Red Cards: 8

Assistants: J D A Hopkins and G R Russell

Fourth Official: J P Magill

Match Prediction:

I'll go for a 3-2 U's win!

Next Fixtures:

The U's face Scunthorpe away on Sunday week.




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The Journalist

Writer: StevieG Col U Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Friday April 25 2008

Time: 12:30PM

Your Comments

What a fab stadium, one of the most nostalgic and full of great spirit; old, maybe. Decrepid, yes. Still, thanks Layer Road!!
Matt_Us
Yeah agree Matt, is a wonderful stadium full of wonderful memerys! Just hope we adapt to the new stadium! Up the U's!
StevieG Col U
Hi Hull fan in peace.lol Hope you guys do us a big favour today and i wish you the best of luck for next season in your new ground and im sure you be back in this league soon.
matty17x
Thanks, yeah hopefully we'll get the three points today! Then hopefully we'll come back up through the Championship and go into the Premier League! Up the U's!
StevieG Col U
Well nearly got a draw at the death, but the ref ruled out a goal for no reason! Up the U's!
StevieG Col U
 

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