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Match Previews


8 December 2021

Match Previews


8 December 2021

The Bantams will welcome Colchester United on Wednesday night for a Sky Bet League Two clash set to kick-off at 7.45pm.

The U’s have been on an impressive streak of form as of late, picking up four points from a possible six against Newport County and Exeter City - ending the latter’s 20-game-unbeaten run.

Colchester will make the trip from Essex off the back of their Emirates FA Cup defeat to Sky Bet League One side Wigan Athletic - losing 2-1 in a valiant effort against the 2013 winners.

We have put together an Opposition Guide to give you all the information you need to know about our 20th league opponent of the season.


The U’s optimised the loan and free agent market this summer to bring a mixture of experience and youth into the club, while letting eight players depart.

INCOMINGS: Charlie Daniels (Portsmouth), Alan Judge (Ipswich), Luke Chambers (Ipswich), Cole Skuse (Ipswich), Freddie Sears (Ipswich), Frank Nouble (Plymouth), Sylvester Jasper (Fulham, loan), Jake Turner (Newcastle, loan), Luke Hannant (Cambridge), Cameron Coxe (Solihull Moors, loan), Armando Dobra (Ipswich, loan). 

OUTGOINGS: Callum Harriot (free agent), Luke Gambin (Hamrun Spartans), Joshua Bohui (free agent), Paris Cowan-Hall (free agent), Harry Pell (Accrington Stanley), Omar Sowunmi (Bromley), Tom Lapslie (Torquay), Courtney Senior (Newport). 


Freddie Sears

Sears rejoined the U’s in summer after a six-year stay at Ipswich Town, where he racked up over 200 appearances for the Tractor Boys.

He joined the club initially on loan in 2011 before signing permanently in the summer of 2012, leaving West Ham after a 12-year association.

The 32-year-old operates primarily in the No.10 role but is comfortable playing on the wing. Sears’ close control makes him difficult to dispossess and he has earned a reputation for his long-range goals, like the one he scored against Wigan on the weekend. 

Sears has netted six goals in his last nine games and has hit fine form since his return to Essex.

Armando Dobra 

Armando Dobra joined the U’s on a season-long loan from Ipswich Town after impressing in a pre-season friendly between the two sides.

Dobra played three games for Ipswich at the start of the season before exiting on loan on deadline day.

The 20-year-old qualifies for Albania through his parents and has featured for the national team’s youth sides, most recently lining up for the Under-21s.

The U’s No.19 is the club's joint-top assister this season, registering three in 10 appearances.

Alan Judge

Alan Judge joined the Essex-based side in summer after a two-year stay with Ipswich Town.

Judge represented the Republic of Ireland on nine occasions and his experience and playmaking ability is something Hayden Mullins will look to tap into.

The former Blackburn Rovers and Sheffield United man has made 12 appearances across all competitions for The U’s this season, scoring once and registering one assist.


Tommy Smith was named the U’s captain at the start of the 2021/22 season in just his second year at the club.

Smith moved to Essex following his release from Sunderland just months after signing, without making an appearance for the Black Cats. The 31-year-old made over 200 appearances for Ipswich Town before moving to the MLS in 2018 to join Colorado Rapids.

The U’s No.5 holds dual nationality with England and New Zealand, opting to represent the latter at international level which led to him playing in the 2010 South Africa World Cup, before becoming the Kiwis' youngest-ever captain in 2013.


Hayden Mullins joined the U's initially as the assistant head coach in September 2020, before he was placed in charge of first-team affairs in March 2021 following the departure of Wayne Brown.

Mullins was given the head coach job permanently following eight games in charge at the end of the 2020/21 season, after guiding the U's to safety in Sky Bet League Two.

The former West Ham and Crystal Palace midfielder has brought stability to Essex after a difficult season the year before had bookies tipping them to exit the EFL.


Colchester 1 (Freddie Sears 45+1’)

Wigan 2 (Callum Lang 24’, 75’)

COLCHESTER: Jake Turner; Luke Chambers, Tommy Smith, Cole Skuse (Chay Cooper 83'), Alan Judge (Brendan Sarpong-Wiredu 72'); Freddie Sears, Noah Chilvers, Sylvester Jasper (booked 6’), Armando Dobra (booked 42’, Samson Tovide 83); Junior Tchamadeu, Cameron Coxe SUBS (not used): Dean Gerken, Shawn McCoulsky, Charlie Daniels,Jake  Hutchinson, Marley Marshall-Miranda, Harry Beadle. 


Meetings: 36

City Wins: 9

Draws: 13

Colchester Wins: 14

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