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Scott Loach and Michael Chopra set to start in Aston Villa FA Cup clash

PUBLISHED: 13:32 02 January 2013 | UPDATED: 15:50 02 January 2013

Scott Loach

Scott Loach

Archant

MICK McCarthy will ring the changes for Saturday’s FA Cup third round clash at Premier League strugglers Aston Villa.

With DJ Campbell now back at parent club QPR, Michael Chopra is set to win his first start in eight matches – the 1-1 home draw with Peterborough was the only time Mick McCarthy has began with last season’s top scorer since taking over.

Stephen Henderson and Bradley Orr are also ineligible, after parent clubs West Ham and Blackburn refused to allow them to play, meaning Scott Loach should get the nod over Arran Lee-Barrett in goal.

Orr’s replacement is less clear with 18-year-old Elliott Hewitt hoping to make his full debut after impressing in both training and fleeting substitute appearances.

Another school of thought is Carlos Edwards being pushed back to the right side of the defence and Jay Emmanuel-Thomas or Josh Carson earning a rare start.

Andy Drury, if recovered from his bout of illness, or Nigel Reo-Coker could also play as a more narrow right-midfielder.

Young Villa midfielder Brett Holman hopes the cup match against Ipswich – and the Capital One Cup semi-final against Bradford just three days later – will be an ideal chance to restore some confidence after the Premier League suffered a nightmare Christmas period – earning just one point from their four matches while losing 8-0, 4-0 and 3-0 to Chelsea, Tottenham and Wigan respectively.

Holman said: “That’s definitely a great opportunity to win a couple of games and score some goals.”

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Ipswich Town new boy Dominic Iorfa believes his strongest position, in the long-term, will be centre-back.

Three of Ipswich Town’s summer signings are struggling to be fit for next Saturday’s Championship opener against Birmingham City, at Portman Road.

Ipswich Town manager Mick McCarthy says he will be restricted to signing a striker on loan due to the fact the Blues can’t compete financially with some of the ‘bonkers’ transfer fees being spent in the Championship.

Blues fans of all ages have gathered at Portman Road today to meet their heroes ahead of the start of the new season.

Huge queues are building up outside Portman Road this morning for today’s annual Ipswich Town Open Day.

The second tier season starts next Friday, however, clubs are working frantically to add to their squads, ahead of a long campaign. Several deals HAVE already been done though and CHRIS BRAMMER picks out six of the best.

Nearly 60 per cent of Ipswich Town fans would like to see Luke Chambers start in the heart of the Blues defence, alongside Adam Webster, when the Championship season begins next Saturday.

Ipswich Town manager Mick McCarthy says he is prepared to play a waiting game to sign the right striker before the transfer window shuts.

Ipswich Town boss Mick McCarthy won’t sacrifice results to satisfy supporters’ thirst for more attractive football at Portman Road this season.

Colchester United manager John McGreal insists his players still have a lot of room for improvement, ahead of the U’s League Two opener at Accrington Stanley, next Saturday.

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