COLCHESTER United host Barrow in a crucial League Two match, this afternoon.

The U's take on the Bluebirds at the JobServe Community Stadium in their first home league game since November.

From team news to line-ups, key men and the referee, all you need to know can be found below ahead of the vital game (kick-off 3pm).

U's team news

Colchester United boss Hayden Mullins has been boosted by the return of leading scorer Freddie Sears for the match against Barrow.

Sears missed the U's 2-0 defeat at Forest Green Rovers on Tuesday night because of a sickness bug.

Armando Dobra is also set to return, while Frank Nouble (knee), Shamal George (ribs) and Miles Welch-Hayes (quad) could also be back, after training this week.

However, Ryan Clampin is still sidelined with a long-term knee injury.

Predicted line-ups

Colchester United: Turner, Tchamadeu, Eastman, Chambers, Daniels, Skuse, Wiredu, Judge, Hannant, Andrews, Sears

Barrow: Farman, Brough, Platt, Jones, Driscoll-Glennon, Hutton, Kay, White, Banks, Sea, Stevens


Colchester boss Hayden Mullins (pictured above) on the Barrow game:

“We know where we are in the table and we know where Barrow are.

“The three points would put us above them and we need to start putting wins together and runs together and we want to start doing that as soon as we can.

“It would be great to start it at home and we’re going to attack the game from the outset and be nice and positive and hopefully get the result we want."


Big game - Barrow boss Mark Cooper Picture: Isaac Parkin/PA Wire

Opposition view

Barrow manager Mark Cooper (pictured above) on today's game:

“Colchester, have some really good players and a lot of experience in their team, and a sprinkling of young players from their academy.

“They were unlucky against Forest Green, [a 2-0 midweek defeat]. I watched that game. But if you don’t put the ball in the net it becomes difficult.

“When you’re playing the best teams and are on top, you have to put ball in the net.

"I’d suggest that’s the case for most teams that are not at the top of the league, like ourselves – if you don’t put the ball in the net at good times you’re going to struggle.

“That’s where we all are. But they’ve got good players, a good set-up and we know it’s going to be a tough game like every week.

“There are no easy games. I never go into a game thinking, ‘We should win today’. It’s on the day.

"Whoever turns up, and is right at it, has a good chance to win.”


Last meeting

Colchester won 3-2 at Barrow when the two sides met in an eventful game at Holker Street, last September.

Goals from Alan Judge, Freddie Sears and Tom Eastman were enough to secure the U's victory.

Colchester had to play from midway through the second half with only ten men, following Luke Chambers' red card.


Colchester are 17/10 to claim victory over Barrow. The visitors are 15/8, while the draw is 19/10.


Will Finnie is the man in the middle today.

He has brandished 40 yellow cards and three red cards in the 20 games he has presided over, so far this season.

Fixtures, League Two, this afternoon:

Newport County v Harrogate Town (12.30pm), Bradford City v Salford City, Bristol Rovers v Hartlepool United, Carlisle United v Crawley Town, Colchester United v Barrow, Exeter City v Scunthorpe United, Mansfield Town v Walsall, Northampton Town v Forest Green Rovers, Port Vale v Swindon Town, Stevenage v Sutton United, Tranmere Rovers v Rochdale.