Can Port Vale build on the midweek Checkatrade win and can veteran striker Tom Pope reach a ton of goals on Saturday afternoon?
The Checkatrade Trophy win over Shrewsbury has clearly boosted Vale’s confidence but will Neil Aspin still make changes? Dior Angus (right) came on as sub and appeared to do well while Leon Legge, if fit, could look to return to the starting eleven.
Striker Tom Pope reached 99 Port Vale goals in Tuesday’s win and will reach his ton should he score on Saturday.
“I think anybody who watched Colchester when we played them in the second game of the season would have been impressed. I certainly was, I thought they were really good that day. They deserved to beat us and they should have won by more than the two goals. They were very good and we know it is a big test but a lot of our players acquitted themselves well in the Lincoln game. This is a different type of test I feel against Colchester, but I feel they have a lot of good quality. They can certainly score goals and we will have to be at our best defensively first to give ourselves a chance of getting a goal to win the game…”
Port Vale manager Neil Aspin
“Wins are massive in terms of building confidence, and it’s the displays like tonight and the one at Lincoln that we need to take forward so we can put a run of results together…”
Port Vale midfielder Luke Hannant
Man in charge
46 year-old John McGreal has been in charge of Colchester since 2016. The former Tranmere Rovers, Ipswich Town and Burnley midfielder has managed the club for 134 games with a 36% win ratio.
Stats and facts
The two sides have met 58 times with Port Vale winning 20 and Colchester winning 24. There have been 14 draws. The last meeting at Vale Park ended in a 2-2 draw with winger David Worrall (right) scoring twice for the Valiants. However, the Valiants are without a win in their last three meetings with the U’s.
Vale could face former defender Luke Prosser. After progressing through the youth ranks and making 36 senior appearances for the Valiants, Prosser moved on to Southend United, Rushden & Diamonds and Northampton before joining Colchester United in 2016.
Crossing the lines
There are a large number of players who have played for both clubs in recent years including:
Striker Rekeil Pyke and winger Olamide Shopido have had loan spells at both clubs.
Midfielder Doug Loft had spells at both sides.
Defender Liam Chilvers (right) had an impressive two spells at both clubs.