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Friendly: Colchester a 2009/07/21 Match thread


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Hi, did post on the welcome board aswell so apologies for double post!

Was wondering what sort of team Villa will play tomorrow? We should be at full strength after just getting back from a pre season training camp in Germany.

If anyone needs directions to the ground, info on pubs, parking etc then let me know and I will do my best to help out. Despite what people say the parking isn't that bad!

Thanks in advance,

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The mighty Villa army (pre-season division) make their way to garrison Colchester on Tuesday night for the second instalment of July’s programme of intrigue, tackling the Essex boys before flying off to the Costa Del Sol for the Peace Cup.


Paul Lambert’s Colchester United are a solid if unspectacular League 1 side with hopes of pushing for the play offs this season. They play at the ridiculously named Weston Homes Community Stadium situated just outside Colchester and so new that it doesn’t exist on google maps. Tickets are still available on the door; though you’ll need to pretend to be a Cockney to get one.

Martin O'Neill will I'm sure be happy to visit his former player who will likewise be keen to get one over on his former manager, which should make for an entertaining game.

Following Saturday’s win over Peterborough there are some interesting selections ahead for Martin O’Neill tomorrow night.

Brad Friedel should continue in goal although Brad Guzan is one of a small group of players who returned to training on Monday morning and may be in contention. Keepers need a little less rest than outfield players so I’d expect baby Brad to take a place on the bench and feature at some point. If not, there may be a chance for young Elliott Parish to show what he’s got.

At the back, there’s still no sign of Luke Young and Freddy Bouma is still some way off, so we’ll see Nicky Shorey continue at left back with a bit of conundrum in the middle. Personally I suspect it’ll be Davies and Knight in the middle with Cuellar at right back although that’s probably as much an indication that Cuellar is a better right back than the other two than any signal of our intention at centre half this season.

Eric Lichaj impressed at Peterborough and the long throwing, tough tackling, bushy headed full back from the US of A will no doubt be chomping at the bit here. Ciaran Clark, Shane Lowry and Matthew Roome will also be looking for an opportunity to get in amongst it; expect them all to feature at some point.

In midfield much depends on whether Ashley Young or Stillyan Petrov fancy a run out after just one days training. I wouldn’t have thought so, so I think we’ll see Steve Sidwell and Nigel Reo Coker continue to stake their respective claims in the middle. It’ll be interesting to see if Reo Coker retains the Captains armband for the game, and plenty for us to read into it.

Out wide, Barry Bannan and Marc Albrighton will get another richly deserved opportunity to ensure that the boys at Sky Sports have good reason to get their names right. Anyone who has watched the reserves over the last couple of years (and one or two Derby County fans) will tell you that these two have got a real chance of pushing on this year. Keep an eye on them.

Chris Herd, Isaiah Osbourne and Dominic Hofbauer will be waiting in the wings and will hope to get on at some point. Osbourne in particular has a lot to prove in what will surely be a make or break season for his career.

Up front, Carew and Heskey are back in training but unlikely to feature; Gabby Agbonlahor is on an extended break along with James Milner and Craig Gardner while Nathan Delfouneso will be kicking off at around the same time for England U19’s in the Ukraine, so there’ll be another chance for Marlon Harewood to ensure he’s fondly remembered if he leaves later in the summer.

Andreas Weimann won’t believe his luck if he gets another chance to start next to the big man, he’s only seventeen and after a promising but patchy season for the reserves he’ll have loved scoring for the first team last week. He’s pretty quick and good with ball at his feet and should treat this as a good opportunity to have a go at it with no pressure.

James Collins will be lurking on the bench, don’t bet against him coming on, looking a little slow, a little unsure of touch and a little out of place…then banging in the first chance that comes anywhere near him.

If you’re going, enjoy yourselves and let us know how it went; if not, you can join the rest of us on the match thread.

Here’s your match prediction – we looked a bit shaky at the back against Peterborough so I can’t see a clean sheet, but I can see a 3-1 Villa victory with Marlon Harewood scoring a cracker.

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I take it the likes of Young, Heskey, Petrov and Carew will be available for tomorrow night??

MON said they won't be considered for tomorrow cause they only returned to training today.

Hi colchestermad - welcome! I'm going to be driving to the game from Brum tomorrow so where would you suggest parking? I've read there are a number of local businesses that let you park on their premises (for a fee obviously) like you find near most grounds. Is that the best bet? Do you think they'll be available tomorrow?

I've driven passed the ground a couple of times whilst working in the area....it's quite close to the A12 isn't it?!?!

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It’s close to the A12 but be careful as you could easily go wrong. Not sure which way you’ll come A14 or M11/A120 towards Colchester (when driving north or midlands I always go M11/A120 as it’s far quicker but I know traffic builds up at Cambridge sometimes) Coming the M11 way you will see the ground on your right. Take the next turn off and make sure you bear to the LEFT! Go to the right and you’ll be on your way to Clacton and it’s miles before you can turn around. Take the turn off towards Colchester and follow the signs. You can part at Rapid Electronics for £2 leaving a 8-10 minute walk. Or further up Axial way there’s another for a fiver. You could probably ring the ground and secure a space directly outside the stadium for a fiver if you wish. Burger vans etc on this road too. Alot of people park up in town then get the free bus but if you’re not bothered about using a pub then follow my advice.

Have fun!

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James Collins will be lurking on the bench, don’t bet against him coming on, looking a little slow, a little unsure of touch and a little out of place…then banging in the first chance that comes anywhere near him.

A perfect description of the prolific James Collins.

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Line-up pretty much has to be a 4-5-1/4-3-3






Hope both Bannan and Albrighton have good games again - I have a feeling they both might break into the first team more this season.

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That formation looks about right. Harewood isn't actually too bad at playing up front on his own, he's a really good nuisance and he'll allow people to join in, a lot of pressure on Sidwell in that side though as I can't see Osbourne or Reo Coker getting into the box to support him.

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