Two new faces for struggling U's
New signings Jabo Ibehre and Sam Walker come into contention as Colchester host Walsall desperate to turn their woeful form around.
Ibehre, who counts Walsall among his former clubs, completed his free transfer from MK Dons on Tuesday, having spent just shy of three months on loan at the club before Christmas during which time he scored four goals in 14 league starts.
Chelsea goalkeeper Walker arrived on loan last week but was denied to chance to make his bow when the U's trip to Hartlepool was postponed.
Anthony Wordsworth will again look to serve the final game of his two-match ban for accruing 10 yellow cards.
Fellow midfielder Kem Izzet (ankle) will once more be assessed along with winger Jack Compton (stomach).
Colchester have lost their last nine successive matches and 12 of their previous 13.
Walsall will be without Febian Brandy and Richard Taundry.
Forward Brandy, whose fine goal settled the reverse fixture 1-0 just before Christmas, serves a one-match suspension following his red card in last weekend's impressive 3-1 win over Bournemouth.
Taundry, not included in Dean Smith's matchday 18, has picked up an ankle injury in training and also misses out against the U's.
Brandy aside, boss Smith is set to keep faith with the same starting XI who disposed of the Cherries in style to put the Saddlers within five points of the play-off places.
There will be one further change in the dugout, however, after assistant manager Richard O'Kelly this week left Walsall to join Bristol City.