Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 11°C

min temp: 10°C

Search

Four games to shape a season? Tough run coming up for Blues... so how will they fare?

PUBLISHED: 15:08 14 November 2017 | UPDATED: 15:08 14 November 2017

Emyr Huws celebrates scoring Ipswich's late winner at Villa Park last season. Picture: PAGEPIX

Emyr Huws celebrates scoring Ipswich's late winner at Villa Park last season. Picture: PAGEPIX

Pagepix Ltd 07976 935738

After two weeks without a game, Ipswich Town return to action after the international break with a daunting run of four matches in just 11 days. Andy Warren breaks down what’s to come during a vital period on the field.

Hull City v Ipswich Town - November 18

The newly-relegated Tigers have not enjoyed their return to the second tier and head into the international break sitting 20th on a run of three-straight defeats.

That run has led to manager Leonid Slutsky to question the mentality of his players and also suggest he wouldn’t be surprised if the club’s owners were considering sacking him.

Not a good sign at all.

All this means things at Hull are not particularly stable, with a lack of cohesion at the back, confused team selection and a negative approach all pinpointed as issues.

They will also be without central striker Fraizer Campbell for the clash with Ipswich after he picked up his fifth booking of the season, meaning the Blues will be left to cope with Nouha Dicko, who has just one league goal to his name this season.

As long as Mick McCarthy can send out an experienced midfield, with the potential of a return for Emyr Huws, there is no reason the Blues can’t come away with a win from a ground where they tasted victory just once in eight previous visits.

Prediction: Hull City 0-1 Ipswich Town

MORE: ‘I haven’t spoken to Mick’ – League One goal machine Moore happy to stay at Rotherham

Sheffield Wednesday's Jordan Rhodes will return to Portman Road later this month. Picture: PA Sheffield Wednesday's Jordan Rhodes will return to Portman Road later this month. Picture: PA

Ipswich Town v Sheffield Wednesday - November 22

There is something fitting about playing the blue half of Sheffield on a Wednesday. The last time that happened, David Hirst scored the only goal as the Owls claimed a 1-0 Premiership victory at Portman Road in March 1993.

These days Carlos Carvalhal has a daunting group of strikers at his disposal, even though Fernando Forestieri has been sidelined by a knee injury and is still a few weeks away from fitness.

The group of Gary Hooper, Steven Fletcher, Lucas Joao and, perhaps most notably, Jordan Rhodes, have only scored a combined 12 league goals between but can, on their day, pop up in any situatuion. Ipswich fans know all about Rhodes, of course.

Behind them there are also a string of midfield players looking to make their mark for the Owls, with Kieran Lee, Ross Wallace and George Boyd all players to have caused the Blues problems in the past.

A difficult game in front of the Sky cameras for sure - a spotlight the Blues have not exactly thrived under in recent years.

Prediction: Ipswich Town 2-2 Sheffield Wednesday

MORE: ‘Webster will be a Premier League player without a doubt’ says legend Beattie

Jonas Knudsen celebrates at the end of the game at Aston Villa last season. Picture: PAGEPIX Jonas Knudsen celebrates at the end of the game at Aston Villa last season. Picture: PAGEPIX

Aston Villa v Ipswich Town - November 25

It’s then on to Villa Park, where the Blues emerged victorious last season thanks to a dramatic Huws winner.

This time they will be facing a very different proposition, with Steve Bruce’s side now competing at the top end of the Championship table having occupied the middle ground when they met last February.

But they are now without captain John Terry, who has been ruled out until after Christmas with a foot injury, with the former England and Chelsea skipper having helped his new side become one of the best defensive units in the division.

They lost their last game at home to Sheffield Wednesday and will have faced a tough trip to Queens Park Rangers and a home game with Sunderland prior to hosting the Blues, during which they hope to welcome back last season’s top scorer Jonathan Kodjia.

He’s a dangerous customer, as the Blues discovered during his Bristol City days, with Villa hoping he will pick up the slack given they don’t possess a player with more than five goals to his name this season.

Prediction: Aston Villa 1-0 Ipswich Town

MORE: Watch every goal from every Ipswich Town game so far in 2017/18

Ipswich Town will have to face former loanee Tom Lawrence when they play Derby County. Picture: PA Ipswich Town will have to face former loanee Tom Lawrence when they play Derby County. Picture: PA

Derby County v Ipswich Town - November 28

This one is the Blues’ much-discussed game in hand, which is only of benefit if you are able to come away from it with points.

But this is a place Ipswich travel to exceptionally well, with the Blues unbeaten on their last nine visits, during a timespan which will be just a day shy of 11 years when they take to the field for the final game of November.

The Rams are a puzzling team at times, with the significant investment of the last few years not yet resulting in a return to the Premier League. At present they are just a point and a place above the Blues in seventh, having proved something of a streaky side so far this season.

They won three straight games in August before winning just one of their next eight, with a run of four-straight wins then followed by a 4-2 loss at home to Reading. They face Fulham and QPR before welcoming the Blues.

They possess players well known to the Blues, in the form of ex-Norwich man Bradley Johnson, long-time nemesis David Nugent and former star loanee Tom Lawrence, so it feels inevitible at least one will find the net. But the Blues hold no fear of the iPro and should be good value to come home with something.

Prediction: Derby County 1-1 Ipswich Town

PREDICTED TOTAL: Five points from a possible 12

Episode One: Stuart Watson and Andy Warren discuss Ipswich Town’s draw at Hull City, hear from Mick McCarthy and Jordan Spence and make the first pitches for football’s Room 101.

Jordan Spence has been telling his Ipswich Town team-mates just how much of a threat he is in front of goal - and the defender is delighted to be proving his point on the field.

Suffolk FA Women’s Cup Second Round

Ipswich Athletic 0

Ipswich Town Ladies Development side 14

Ipswich Town Ladies Development side progressed to the next round of the Suffolk FA Cup with a massive 14-0 thumping of Suffolk league side Ipswich Athletic, writes Liam Young.

Focus on the strengths, recognise the weaknesses and enjoy the ride.

“We might not be the best, but we keep going. It’s an endearing quality we have.”

Watch match highlights of Ipswich Town’s 2-2 draw at Hull City on Saturday.

A point at Hull City should not be seen as anything other than a good result ordinarily and the fact that we gained that point with a late equaliser certainly felt better than a loss. But were they not there for the taking on the day?

It was certainly an eventful day for David McGoldrick.

Jordan Spence believes his late leveller at Hull shows the character of the Ipswich Town squad.

Ipswich Town drew 2-2 at Hull City in a Championship match this afternoon. STUART WATSON highlights the key talking points.

Most read

Eating Out in the Broads

cover

Click here to view
the Eating Out
supplement

View

Visit the Broads

cover

Click here to view
the Visit the Broads
supplement

View

Show Job Lists

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter
MyDate24 MyPhotos24