Colchester v Portsmouth preview
Last Updated: 10/03/17 2:51pm
Sammie Szmodics is pressing for a place in the Colchester team for the visit of Portsmouth.
The midfielder marked his return from an ankle operation by coming off the bench to score a late equaliser in last weekend's 1-1 draw at Cambridge, which kept the U's in the play-off hunt.
Forward Macauley Bonne gives manager John McGreal another attacking option after he came back from a loan spell at Woking, while defender Richard Brindley has been carrying a calf injury.
Midfielder Doug Loft (Achilles), defender Tom Eastman (ankle) and club captain Luke Prosser (knee) all continue their rehabilitation, along with Jermaine Grandison (hip), Lloyd Doyley (calf) and midfielder Tommy O'Sullivan (knee). Defender Frankie Kent (ankle), forward Denny Johnstone (knee), leading scorer Kurtis Guthrie (ankle) and midfielder Craig Slater (groin) are also out.
Portsmouth manager Paul Cook is unlikely to make changes to the side which won 2-0 at Crawley on Tuesday to move into the automatic promotion places.
Carl Baker and Danny Rose replaced Gary Roberts and the fatigued Amine Linganzi for the trip to the Checkatrade Stadium and both are likely to have to bide their time for a recall.
Full-back Enda Stevens had to be substituted with a dead leg during the second half in midweek but is expected to be fit, with Kal Naismith likely to fill in at left-back should the Irishman not make it.
Cook has backed loanee Eoin Doyle to rediscover his finishing touch after scoring just once in eight appearances so far, and he is likely to get the nod ahead of Conor Chaplin and Noel Hunt up front. Curtis Main (knee) is the only long-term absentee.