Preston boss Simon Grayson could hand Neil Kilkenny his first start when Colchester visit Deepdale.
The on-loan Bristol City midfielder made his Lilywhites debut when he came off the bench in the closing stages of the 1-0 victory over high-flying Leyton Orient last Saturday. He is in contention to be named in the starting XI against the U's.
Stuart Beavon serves the second game of a three-match suspension for seeing red in the 6-0 FA Cup victory over Barnet.
Young midfielder Jeffrey Monakana, who recently returned from a loan spell with Saturday's opponents, could play some part.
Colchester manager Joe Dunne will be without midfielder Craig Eastmond for the trip to Preston.
Eastmond picked up his fifth booking of the season in last weekend's 2-1 defeat by Swindon and serves a one-match ban. On-loan striker Elliot Lee, who started four games for the U's, has returned to West Ham.
Jabo Ibehre and Gavin Massey were second-half substitutes in that game and featured in a behind-closed-doors friendly in midweek, along with leading scorer Freddie Sears. They will be hoping they did enough to convince Dunne they are fit to face North End.
David Wright is also set to return from injury as the U's chase their fourth league victory of the season.