Colchester will be without Callum Harriott and Kwame Poku for the Sky Bet League Two match against promotion-chasing Tranmere because of international duty.
Winger Harriott is away with Guyana, while midfielder Poku has been called up to the Ghana squad.
Noah Chilvers came into the side for Saturday’s 1-0 home defeat by Port Vale, while fit-gain Ben Stevenson will be aiming to retain his place in midfield following his first appearance in almost a month.
Veteran keeper Dean Gerken was on the bench again following his back problem, while midfielder Tom Lapslie (groin) is also stepping up his recovery.
Tranmere boss Keith Hill will check on defender George Ray ahead of the trip to Essex.
Ray was forced off just before half-time of Saturday’s 2-1 win over Exeter after clattering over an advertisement board and continues to be assessed, so Manny Monthe could deputise again.
Midfielder Otis Khan and fit-again defender Lee O’Connor both returned to the starting line-up for Saturday’s 2-1 win over the Grecians which kept Tranmere in the promotion mix.
Striker James Vaughan is a long-term absentee having undergone knee surgery.