Wrongs to right, records to end and a lead to extend - talking points as Town head north to face Accrington
- Credit: Archant
Ipswich Town are in action against Accrington Stanley tomorrow. ANDY WARREN looks ahead to the game which pits the league leaders against the side in 20th.
Righting a wrong
Ipswich have only played at Accrington once before and it ended in disaster.
The 1-0 FA Cup loss in January was labelled 'an absolute disgrace' by manager Paul Lambert, after Billy Kee's goal knocked Ipswich out of the competition at the first hurdle for the ninth successive season.
They have the chance to put that wrong right this weekend, just as they do when they visit the scene of other house of horror cup humblings at Portsmouth and Lincoln later in the season.
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Wait and see
There are question marks over three key players heading into this game.
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Kane Vincent-Young (groin), Flynn Downes (hip) and James Norwood (groin) are all doubtful, with manager Paul Lambert giving the trio as long as possible to prove their fitness.
They're all vitally important to Ipswich but it makes no sense to risk them if they are not fit and firing.
Gwion Edwards is the most-likely replacement for Vincent-Young at wing-back while Emyr Huws is a viable option for Downes in midfield. Will Keane could come in for Norwood in attack, or Lambert could opt to use Alan Judge as a second striker.
James Wilson is suspended, of course, following his red card at Fleetwood. Toto Nsiala could make his first league start of the season in his place, or Cole Skuse could drop in as a hybrid defender/midfielder as he has done previously.
These injury worries could also prompt a formation change, so there is plenty of intrigue ahead of team news being released at 11am.
A position of strength
Whatever happens later today, Ipswich Town will still be top of League One heading into tomorrow's game.
They've played a game less than the majority of their League One rivals already, owing to the games postponed due to international breaks, but such is their position of strength that they have a four-point lead at the top.
Depending on results, the Blues could even be in a position to extend their advantage at the summit.
That's some turnaround in mood given the scenes we witnessed at the Wham Stadium just nine months ago.
When you look at the positions of the two sides going into this game, with Accrington sitting 20th, it really is a game Ipswich should be winning.
Kayden Jackson scored 16 goals in his final Accrington season, firing Stanley to the League Two title to earn himself a move to Ipswich in August 2018.
His first return to his old club didn't go to plan in January, with the striker starting up front alone but cutting an isolated figure throughout and having next to nothing to feed off before being replaced after the hour mark by Will Keane.
He's a different animal this time around, though, and will be going into this game full of confidence having netted in each of his last two games to move clear at the top of the Blues' scoring charts on six.
There are a couple of stats counting against Ipswich heading into this game.
Ipswich have a bad record when it comes to return from international breaks. It's so bad that you have to go back 20 games to find the last time they claimed three points (against Millwall in 2014.
Then there's Town's TV record, which isn't much better. The Blues have failed to win any of their last 14 televised game, excluding red button and streaming services, with the last three points coming at MK Dons in December 2015.
This is a chance to put both runs to bed.
It's also a chance to show the watching football public what Ipswich Town's class of 2019/20 are all about.
This game's not just being shown in England, oh no. The game is being televised on four continents in the likes of Australia, Canada, USA, Singapore, China, Serbia and Norway.
Another great turn-out
Ipswich fans have travelled in numbers so far this season, but this is perhaps the best showing yet.
If you're talking pure numbers the 1,000 fans travelling to Accrington is dwarfed by the hoards that attended Peterborough, MK Dons and Gillingham, but to have that many supporters backing you, 250 miles from home and at 12pm on Sunday for a televised game, is a real plus to the Blues.