Danny Wilson has given a glowing reference to Saturday's opposition and their shrewd boss.
Wilson says the Blades are readying themselves for nothing less than a real battle at the Weston Homes Community Stadium, drawing on experience gained from the 1-1 draw against the U's last term:
"We had a tough game down there last season; we conceded a poor goal and the weekend will be another test for us.
"Colchester are a very organised side and John (Ward) is very experienced and knows how to get results. At home, they're always a difficult side to play against.
"They are a workman outfit who can grind down teams. As a club and a unit they have a great group work ethic."