U's without Watt
Sanchez Watt starts a three-match suspension as Colchester entertain promotion-chasing Preston.
The forward saw red in last Friday's goalless draw at Swindon having aimed a headbutt at Town defender Nathan Thompson and will now watch from the stands against North End.
Striker Jabo Ibehre was forced to miss out at the County Ground due to illness but he is expected to return to the fold.
And he will likely compete with Freddie Sears, Gavin Massey and Alex Gilbey for the chance to replace Watt.
Preston boss Simon Grayson will run the rule over on-loan striker Craig Davies.
North End missed Davies during Tuesday night's stalemate with MK Dons and may be without him again if there is any doubt he cannot overcome a minor hamstring strain during Thursday and Friday's training sessions.
That will be the only concern for a Lilywhites team which has been fortunate with injuries throughout the campaign.
Preston have not lost in their last six Sky Bet League One contests but are still seven points away from the automatic promotion spots in fourth.