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Match Previews

MATCH PREVIEW: COLCHESTER UNITED V LUTON TOWN

29 March 2018

Town will look to make it back-to-back wins when they travel to Colchester tomorrow afternoon in what could prove to be a vital few days in Sky Bet League Two.

With two games in the space of four days, the Hatters will be looking to increase their lead at the top of the fourth tier, having regained top spot with the win against Barnet on Saturday evening.

A victory for the Hatters would also mean they'd equal their points tally for the entirety of the 2016/17 campaign – with six games left of the current season to better that total.

They come up against a Colchester side though that still have an outside chance of finishing in the play-off places, with seven games left to play John McGreal's team are eight points off seventh.

After a brilliant run between the end of September and into the New Year, the U's found themselves comfortably inside the top seven, but their form in 2018 has seen them drop off and slip down the table to 11th place.

They did however pick up their first win in seven outings last weekend, defeating Stevenage in Dino Maamria's first game in charge of Boro, 1-0 at the Lamex Stadium.

THE GAFFER SAYS:

On the team he will pick over the two games: "We won last week so we know we're in decent form. We're going to have to use the squad, I doubt it will be the same 11 for both games as you're very fortunate if you're able do that.

"I know Accrington have been lauded for keeping the same team, and if they're fortunate enough to do that, then fine. But we'll pick a side that we think will try and win both games and we'll see where we are when we come out of it."

On James Shea's league debut: "[He did] Very well, what we said is when one has a dip or one needs to come in, as was the case last week, then we believe we have two first choice keepers, so we expect them to keep challenging. James Shea has shown a wonderful attitude in terms of competing with Marek and pushing him, and that has enabled Marek to have an excellent season.

"So we expect exactly the same from Marek now with James. James has to make sure he keeps his levels. I don't think he could have done any more. So it's just a straight choice of who I think will contribute to getting us a clean sheet. I don't think James could have done any more on his debut in terms of he kept a clean sheet, what he did have to do he did very well in terms of his positioning, and especially the save late on.

"So he's in a good place, and so is Marek now. Obviously his new born is a bit of relief in terms of that, so we've got two real good uns competing."

On Harry Cornick returning after illness: "He caught the Milton Keynes bug, a few of them have had it. He's back, he's trained and we'll see where he is. Providing he has no adverse effects from training, then he'll be fine."

WHO?

The U's fell just a point short of the play-off places last season, with a ridiculous final day of the 2016/17 campaign seeing them move in and out of the top seven, before they ended up in eighth.

After flirting with the bottom places in Sky Bet League One for a number of seasons, Colchester were relegated in 2016. The appointment of John McGreal permanently at the beginning of last season saw the U's go on to a have decent finish in their first season back in the fourth tier, their first in this division since 1998.

WHEN AND WHERE?

Kick-off is at 3pm on Friday 30th March at the Weston Homes Community Stadium.

TICKET INFORMATION

The Hatters have sold out their allocation 1,946 tickets for this fixture.

PLAYED BEFORE?

Town have played Colchester 27 times, the first of which was a 3-1 win at Kenilworth Road in January 1964 for the Hatters. We have gone on to win ten matches in total, while the U's have come out on top eight times and nine matches have finished all-square.

Dan Potts gave us a taste of what was to come for the rest of the season when he headed in from an Alan Sheehan cross in our 3-0 win here back in August, with James Collins and Olly Lee also getting on the scoresheet, the former scoring a spectacular curling effort. Marek Stech also pulled off one of the saves of the season as he somehow denied Sammie Szmodics from close range.

FOLLOW THE ACTION

You can follow the Hatters' Twitter feed on @LutonTown, or stay up to date on the LTFC website in the match centre. iFollow Hatters subscribers can tune in for Simon Pitts' match commentary, whilst international subscribers can watch the game live. You can subscribe to iFollow Hatters by clicking here... and supporters who are overseas can buy an individual match pass for the live video stream via the Match Centre.


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