Colchester boss Joe Dunne must decide whether to stick or twist for the visit of out-of-sorts North End.
Dunne named an unchanged side for Tuesday's home clash against Swindon from the one which disposed of Portsmouth last weekend but watched his side fall 1-0 to the promotion hopefuls.
Despite the defeat Dunne felt the U's deserved reward for their performance and he must now decide whether to keep faith for a third successive match or turn to the likes of Marcus Bean and Drey Wright among others.
Midfielder Kem Izzet continues to struggle with an ankle injury as Colchester aim to get back to winning ways.
They will do so against a North End side who are winless in their last five matches and have won just one of their previous nine.
Graham Westley has no new injury problems as he looks to turn around Preston's dismal run of form.
Last weekend's 2-1 home defeat to Shrewsbury extended North End's unwanted club-record run without a home league victory to 11 games.
The Lilywhites did win their last away npower League One encounter on the road at Hartlepool on New Year's Day but it stands as the solitary three-point haul in the last 12 matches.
Full-back Keith Keane (knee) is in the early stages of his rehabilitation but will not be ready for first-team action for at least a fortnight, while fellow defender Scott Laird (broken leg), striker Lee Trundle (hamstring) and midfielder John Mousinho remain on the sidelines.
On-loan Norwich goalkeeper Declan Rudd is set for a place on the bench after making his England Under-21 debut against Sweden in midweek.