Colchester United will be looking to get their brand new League Two campaign off to a winning start today when they take on Carlisle United.

From likely line-ups to key men and the referee, all you need to know can be found below.

U's team news

Colchester are hoping to have a fully-fit squad available for their game at Carlisle.

Luke Hannant and Shamal George are hoping to be available again, having had to self isolate last week.

Colchester will check on the fitness of Dean Gerken, who sat out the Wealdstone friendly last weekend.

New signings Hannant, Luke Chambers, Freddie Sears, Alan Judge, Cole Skuse, Frank Nouble, Cameron Coxe and Sylvester Jasper could all make their U's debut.

Key battle

Colchester United are likely to hand a debut to vastly-experienced defender Luke Chambers (pictured below) today. The former Ipswich Town centre-back is set to come up against Tristan Abrahams, who joined Carlisle United from Newport County in June.


Last meeting

Colchester saw off Carlisle 2-1 at a foggy JobServe Community Stadium, in March 2021. Jon Mellish gave the Cumbrians a first-half lead but two second-half goals from Callum Harriott sealed the U's an important win, in their battle for League Two survival.


Peter Wright is the man in the middle for Colchester's game at Carlisle. Last season, the official showed 92 yellow cards and three reds.

Opposition manager

Carlisle boss Chris Beech: “I’ve got the kilometres of distance covered by each player since we started [pre-season], and even those numbers are very high.

“It was between week two and week three that we were getting up to 50km a week – but that’s football kilometres, not just going for a run.

“That tapers down now as you look to prepare for the games. I don’t class this week as pre-season, I class it as week one of the season starting and we have a game on Saturday against Colchester.”


Likely line-ups

Carlisle United: (4-3-3) Magnus Norman; George Tanner, Jack Armer, Aaron Hayden, Corey Whelan; Callum Guy (c), Joe Riley, Jon Mellish; Zach Clough, Lewis Alessandra, Tristan Abrahams.

U's (3-4-1-2): Shamal George, Luke Chambers, Tom Eastman, Tommy Smith (c), Miles Welch-Hayes, Brendan Wiredu, Cole Skuse, Ryan Clampin, Alan Judge, Frank Nouble, Freddie Sears.


Colchester are seen as 27/10 to win their opener at Carlisle. The hosts are 21/10 while the draw is 23/10.

League Two fixtures

Carlisle United v Colchester United, Exeter City v Bradford City, Forest Green Rovers v Sutton United, Harrogate Town v Rochdale, Hartlepool United v Crawley Town, Mansfield Town v Bristol Rovers, Northampton Town v Port Vale, Oldham Athletic v Newport County, Salford City v Leyton Orient, Scunthorpe United v Swindon Town, Stevenage v Barrow, Tranmere Rovers v Walsall.