England stars resume rivalry again today
DEAN Bowditch and Ryan Jarvis will resume hostilities tonight when Ipswich and Norwich Reserves clash for the first time in four years.
DEAN Bowditch and Ryan Jarvis will resume hostilities tonight when Ipswich and Norwich Reserves clash for the first time in four years, writes Derek Davis.
The England Under-19 duo, who are mates off the pitch, suspended East Anglian rivalry last week to help their country to a 1-1 draw against the Czech Republic at Carrow Road.
Both are now back with their clubs and could face each other at Portman Road tonight in the Premier Reserve League (South), 7pm kick off, with the respective managers deciding today whether to include them.
While Bowditch has forced his way back into the Town senior side, scoring against Coventry City last week, Jarvis has struggled to be part of the Premiership bottom club's line-up.
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With Pablo Counago's fellow Blues' strikers off enjoying success at international level, the Spaniard will once again lead Steve McCall's reserve team attack.
Although he is finding it a struggle to keep manager Joe Royle happy, the former Celta Vigo striker is scoring goals.
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He has netted in the past two reserve games against Arsenal and Leicester City and hit two senior goals in five appearances last month.
Team-mates Darren Bent and Shefki Kuqi are still away on international duty after Bent took his England tally to seven in his nine appearances, all coming off the bench, although he is likely to start in Azerbaijan tomorrow night.
Kuqi banged in two for Finland as they beat Armenia in a World Cup qualifier on Saturday and is looking to start again with Mikael Forsell out injured against Holland in the Amsterdam Arena on Wednesday.
The Blues need victory tonight, not just for local pride but because they are bottom of the reserve league
That may not matter as much as being bottom of the Premiership, but McCall's young side will be looking to impress and send the Blues crowd home happy.
Shane Supple will remain the only keeper in the squad with Lewis Price away licking his wounds with Wales and Michael Synott is likely to keep his place at the back with Chris Hogg playing for England Under-20s yesterday.
A number of other young Town players are on the verge of pushing into first team reckoning.
Antonio Murray, Aidan Collins, Scott Barron and Scott Mitchell have already made debuts, while Jerrome Sobers has been in the squad and right winger Daniel Flack has impressed in recent reserve games.
City are expected to field former Ireland midfielder Phil Mulryne in an otherwise young squad.
Ipswich Town Reserves: Supple, Synott, Barron, Mitchell, Sobers, Collins, Flack, Garvan, Counago, Bowditch, Murray, Craig, Clarke, Knights, Manning and Atay.
Norwich City Reserves: Gallacher, Willis, Brennan, Mulyrne, Shackell, Halliday, Blackburn, Crow, Jarvis, Henderson, Smith, Cave-Brown, Howlett, Herbert and Howell.