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Jan 18, 2022 at 7.45pm UK at Borough Sports Ground
3 - 2
Olaofe (9', 64'), Randall (90+2')
Smith (45+2'), Eastmond (57')
FT(HT: 1-2)
Edwards (3'), Sears (44' pen.)
Dallison (21'), Sears (59'), Huws (75'), Smith (77')

Preview: Sutton United vs. Colchester United - prediction, team news, lineups

:Headline: Preview: Sutton United vs. Colchester United - prediction, team news, lineups:
Sports Mole previews Tuesday's League Two clash between Sutton United and Colchester United, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
Sports Mole

Some late drama on Saturday enabled Sutton United to remain unbeaten this year, and their League Two campaign will continue on Tuesday when they host Colchester United from Gander Green Lane in South London.

The Us come into this contest without a defeat in five consecutive games played in all competitions, after erasing a 3-1 second-half deficit versus Stevenage to pick up a point this past weekend, while an own goal from Tom Dallison sent Colchester to defeat for a fourth successive time in this domestic campaign as they dropped a 2-0 decision to Barrow.

Match preview

In football, draws can sometimes feel like defeats or victories, and Saturday's result must have felt like a win for Matt Gray and his side, who at times struggled to deal with the pace of The Boro.

His team had conceded their share of late goals in league play in 2021-22, so to see the shoe on the other foot in their previous fixture could be seen as good karma for these players, who have managed to find the back of the net in seven straight matches.

Following their draw versus Stevenage, Gray was highly critical of the referee, who made a few big decisions in the opening half which did not go the way of Sutton United.

The Us are a team with plenty of character who have had to fight their way back into several games this season and lately these players have had an answer when conceding as they continuously push forward for goals.

Patience is a virtue, and that is a quality that this group have shown a lot of in recent matches, scoring five of their last seven goals in the second half, including a strike from Donovan Wilson which sent them into the fourth round of the EFL Trophy, eliminating Colchester from that competition.

They come into this game with an impressive run of positive results at home, unbeaten in their last seven, collecting five clean sheets along the way.

The U's of Colchester will rue some missed opportunities in the opening half of their Saturday fixture, as they are now winless in six consecutive games domestically, having failed to score in four of those encounters.

Finding the back of the net has been an issue for them all season long, scoring a league-low 17 goals so far in the 2021-22 campaign.

While their start was much better against Barrow, Hayden Mullins has seen his players allow too many quality scoring opportunities, which has them only three points above the relegation line at the moment.

This group seem to be a little overwhelmed when entering enemy territory, losing their last six encounters on the road while being shut out in five of those games.

They have had their share of opportunities - firing at least six shots on target in two of their last three league affairs - but outside of leading goalscorer Freddie Sears, no one else has been a threat to find the back of the net.

Tuesday will be the second-ever meeting between these two clubs in the league, and the first one back in October went the way of Sutton, who overcame an early setback to win 3-1.

Sutton United League Two form:
  • W
  • L
  • D
  • W
  • W
  • D

Sutton United form (all competitions):
  • L
  • D
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • D

Colchester United League Two form:
  • D
  • D
  • L
  • L
  • L
  • L

Colchester United form (all competitions):
  • D
  • L
  • L
  • L
  • L
  • L

Team News

Richie Bennett fired home the equaliser for Sutton in the 98th minute to help his side salvage a point over the weekend, with the other goals coming courtesy of Alistair Smith and Robert Milsom, and the latter is now second on the team in goals with five - one more than Donovan Wilson.

Three new players were inserted into the lineup versus Stevenage, as Milsom, Craig Eastmond and David Ajiboye were all added to the starting 11.

Goalkeeper Dean Bouzanis has had to contend with a lot more shots in recent games, with his side allowing eight against The Boro and 16 in their last three matches played in all competitions, with the Australian conceding five goals in that time.

Colchester are still missing left-back Ryan Clampin and centre-forward Frank Nouble with knee injuries, while goalkeeper Shamal George has been out since November with a bruised rib.

Their next highest scorer after Sears is Noah Chilvers with three goals, though the 20-year-old has not found the back of the net since notching a brace in a 2-1 win over Swindon Town in the second round of their EFL Trophy campaign.

The club from Essex made three changes to their starting 11 against Barrow as Miles Welch-Hayes replaced captain Tommy Smith at the back, Tom Dallison started in defence instead of Tom Eastman and Sears was preferred in attack over Chilvers.

Sutton United possible starting lineup:
Bouzanis; Milsom, Kizzi, John, Wyatt; Randall, Eastmond, Smith, Ajiboye; Bennett, Wilson

Colchester United possible starting lineup:
Turner; Smith, Chambers, Eastman; Tchamadeu, Hannant, Skuse, Coxe; Chilvers; Nouble, Sears

We say: Sutton United 2-0 Colchester United

Sutton are not in fifth place because of their defending, having conceded multiple goals in three of their previous six matches in all competitions, however, no one other than Sears has found the back of the net for Colchester in a league fixture since November 23.

Expect to see The Amber and Chocolates do everything to take Sears out of the game, and should they do that, the odds of a win for Sutton will be reasonably low.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting over 1.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Over 1.5:data

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