Sammie Szmodics is expected to return to action for Colchester United under-23s in their Premier League Cup clash with Derby County tonight.

Szmodics has managed just 13 minutes of first-team action in nearly four months because of a troublesome ankle problem but is set to feature for Wayne Brown's side in their Group C game against the Rams at St George's Park (kick-off 7pm).

Lewis Kinsella is also expected to play for Colchester, as he continues his recovery from his own ankle injury.

With so many other senior players currently sidelined, U's head coach John McGreal is hoping the duo will soon be ready to challenge for a place in his first team line-up.

McGreal said: “Let’s hope we can get one or two injuries back who have been on the treatment table for a long time – that’s the main thing.

“That’s what we’re looking for now, for them to come in and give us that little bit of a freshness for the squad as there’s a lot of boys who have played throughout the season and we need these boys back.

“We’re hoping they’ll play for the under-23s and then they’ll be pushing towards the first team.”

Meanwhile, Swansea City's towering teenage centre-half Dan Jefferies is set to also feature for Colchester's under-23s tonight.

Jefferies, who was a part of the schoolboy squad that helped Wales lift the FA Victory Shield in 2014, played for the U's under-18 side in their 1-0 win over Watford at the weekend.