Crystal Palace will hope its not a case of after the Lord Mayor’s show when they face Colchester in the Carabao Cup second round at home on Tuesday. The Eagles got their first win of the season in style at the weekend as they defeated Manchester United 2-1 at Old Trafford.
The victory was Palace’s first over the Red Devils in 23 attempts in the Premier League era and continued their impressive run of picking up wins at the homes of the ‘big six’ having previously won at the Etihad Stadium and Emirates Stadium in the last 10 months.
From a backs to the wall display at the Theatre of Dreams, Roy Hodgson’s men now face a very different challenge when they take on League Two Colchester at Selhurst Park on Tuesday. As is often the case for early rounds in the League Cup, Hodgson is set to make wholesale changes to his starting line-up and could hand first starts to summer signings Victor Camarasa and James McCarthy.
James McArthur, Luka Milivojevic and Cheikhou Kouyate have been preferred in central midfield in the Premier League so far this season but Camarasa and McCarthy look set to get a chance to press their claims against Colchester.
Wayne Hennessey will also hope to make a positive impression as he gets set to replace Vicente Guaita in goal, while youngsters Sam Woods, Nya Kirby, Tyrick Mitchell, Jason Lokilo and Kian Flanagan will hope for a run out having caught the eye for the U23s this season.
Connor Wickham could be handed a start up front but Hodgson may have to stick with the majority of the defence who kept United at bay with James Tomkins and Mamadou Sakho still out injured.
The likes of Wilfried Zaha, Milivojevic and Jordan Ayew could be given the night off as Palace look to continue their record of having reached at least the fourth round of the League Cup in the last two seasons.
While Premier League survival is the main priority for Palace, new boy Gary Cahill is keen for the South London outfit to embark on a cup run, although he says it is vital they don’t lose the momentum gained by beating United by slipping up at home to Colchester.
“I see an opportunity to go on a cup run and get as far as we can, if you can manage to get to a quarter, semi or final it is wide open and ready to go,” said the ex-England international. “We take it one step at a time, tonight we have a tough game but one we feel we should win if we go about it in the right way.”
Colchester make the short trip to Selhurst Park buoyed by their first league win of the season against Northampton.
The U’s are set to take a strong travelling contingent with them and boss John McGreal wants his players to embrace the occasion. “We’ll go there and try and enjoy it but at the same time, you don’t want to be looking fools,” he said.