Sheffield United last weekend completed a convincing 1-0 home victory over Nottingham Forest in a friendly. Billy Sharp slotted home after nine minutes to hand the Blades the victory.
The beginning of the season can always been difficult but nor more so for Bryan Robson who took charge of the club in May and not know which division the Blades would be playing in following the Carlos Tevez affair which is still ongoing.
During the process of being relegated United lost Phil Jagielka who signed for Everton in a £4M deal. However Robson has stepped in and brought in new signings; Gary Naysmith (Everton), Billy Sharp (Scunthorpe), David Carney (Sydney FC), James Beattie (Everton) and Lee Hendrie (Aston Villa).
The Blades have a fully strengthen squad with the exception of striker Rob Hulse who is still recovering from a broken leg which he sustained at Chelsea last March and is likely to be out for a further six weeks.
Skipper Chris Morgan is expected to miss the curtain raiser after he sustained a calf strain.
Possible Blades Line-Up: Paddy Kenny, Leigh Bromby, Chris Lucketti, Gary Naysmith, Matthew Kilgallon, Keith Gillespie, Ahmed Fathi, Nick Montgomery, Lee Hendrie, James Beattie, Billy Sharp.
Colchester United have been busy in the transfer market this summer and there most notable new signing is that of former Manchester United and England striker Teddy Sherringham who left West Ham United on a free transfer.
They have also been quick to snap up MK Dons forward Clive Platt to compensate for the loss of Jamie Cureton (Norwich); they have also brought in Mark Yeates (Tottenham), Matthew Connolly (Arsenal, loan), Danny Granville (Palace), Luke Guttridge (Leyton O), Kevin Lisbie (Charlton) and Bela Balogh (MTK Hungaria, loan).
Incomings also mean outgoings and were damped by the loss of Cureton who's 23 goals last season made him Championship top scorer whilst they have also lost formidable striker Chris Iwelumo (Charlton).
Wayne Brown (Hull), Richard Carcia (Hull) and Garry Richards (Southend) have also left Layer Road in separate deals.
However despite there summer activity Teddy Sherringham is expected to start his U's career on the substitutes bench this Saturday following a slight calf strain. £300,000 signing Clive Platt was sent-off recently during a pre-season friendly against Bolton Wanderers and will serve a suspension but will be allowed to make his debut against the Blades and serve his suspension later.
Midfielder Kelvin Watson is also a doubt with an Achilles problem whilst new Hungarian Bela Balogh has a broken nose.
Possible U's Line-Up: Aidan Davison, Danny Granville, Tom Devaux, Matthew Connolly, Pat Baldwin, Karl Duguid, Mark Yeates, Kemal Izzet, Luke Cuttridge, Clive Platt, Kevin Lisbie.
:: Last Five Meetings ::
- 07.01.2006 - Blades 1-2 Colchester (FA Cup)
- 15.02.2004 - Blades 1-0 Colchester (FA Cup)
- 19.09.2000 - Blades 3-0 Colchester (League Cup)
- 28.01.1989 - Blades 3-3 Colchester
- 12.09.1981 - Blades 1-0 Colchester