Colchester v WBA
19th August 2006
The U` travel to the Midlands for the second time in a month to face West Brom at the Hawthorns on Saturday afternoon.
'They are a strong side but also one that likes to play football on the ground. We have just to cut out one or two mistakes and be positive'
'We know it will be difficult, but we will go up their with the same mentality as we did against Birmingham'
Colchester Manager Geriant Williams
WBA Team News:
The last time these two teams met, Colchester won 2-1 in a league cup encounter at Layer Road in Sept 2004, previous to that again in the League Cup Colchester won 1-3 at the Hawthorns in 1996.
West Brom have only managed 1 win and 1 draw in the last 6 games at home only scoring 4 Goals while conceeding 7.
They will be without the services of Tomasz Kuszczak who has been loaned to Manchester United for the Season, this opens the way for Pascal Zuberbuehler to come into the side with either Russell Hoult or Luke Steel, Steel seems to be the favourite to start.
With summer signing of Paul MacShane looking to make the bench, West Brom will be short of the experienced services of Thomas Gaardsoe and Neil Clement in Defence both are recovering from injuries.
Zoltan Gera looks likley to start up front for the baggies as Nathan Ellington recovers from hamstring problems, he will be partnered by Welsh striker John Hartson.
Player to watch: John Hartson
The U`s defence will have to be on top of their game, John Hartson is a proven goalscorer, and it will be important that the U`s shut this threat down early.
Colchester United Team News:
Geriant Williams will be looking to do what his Predecessor Phil Parkinson failed to do on the first day of the season, beat West Brom away.
With no points on the board and loosing the first 3 games the U's have had to learn fast, individual errors have cost us dearly and if we are to make headway in this division these will have to be cut out.
With an away form of 1 win and 3 Draws in the last 6 games while shipping 6 and only scoring 5, Colchester need come to the Hawthorns in top form if they are to get anything from the game.
Williams is likely to start with the same line up that had seen his team loose in the second half at home to Barnsley 7 days earlier, although he will be without the services of left back George Elokobi as he starts a 3 match suspension for being sent off in a reserves game earlier in the season, he may be replaced by new signing Chris Barker who signed this morning on loan from Cardif City, should clearance from the Welsh FA come through in time.
With Jamie Guy scoring the only goal in the reserves to beat local rivals Southend on Wednesday, he will be knocking on the managers door for a place in the starting line up.
This could see Richard Garcia moving into Midfield whith Kemal Izzet making way for him and being dropped to the bench.
However Williams may opt for experience over youth instead and could hand a starting place to 6ft 4inch Scottish striker Chris Iwelumo instead, again moving Garcia into Midfield and dropping Izzet to the bench.
This would reunite Iwelumo with Strike partner Cureton again, a partnership which was so lucrative last season.
Player to watch: Kevin Watson
Hopefully Johnnie Jackson will have shaken off the knock that saw him depart Layer Road early last Saturday, along with Kevin watson it is important that the Midfield are on form, these two offer so much from the Midfield, I believe they will be the Key to us winning this game.
Match Facts & Stats
Referee: Mr P Taylor Assistants: Mr Dexter and Mr Mellor Fourth Official: Mr A Laver
Vital Colchester Prediction: Close match with chances a plenty at each end, Colchester to get their noses in front, reverting to 4-5-1 late on to protect the lead with WBA getting a late equaliser after sustained pressure. WBA 1 - 1 Colcheter United
Away Tuesday 22nd August at Mk Dons - League Cup