Everything you need to know ahead of Ipswich Town’s Boxing Day clash with QPR
Our bite-sized guide to Ipswich Town’s game with Queens Park Rangers at Portman Road.
When and where?
Boxing Day (Saturday), 3pm, Portman Road
What’s the team news?
David McGoldrick looks set to be out for some time following a torn hamstring while Jonny Parr, Larsen Toure and Teddy Bishop are all still sidelined. Other than that, there’s no new injury trouble.
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Who is their manager?
Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink has recently taken over at Loftus Road following the departure of Chris Ramsey who, despite having a talented squad available to him, had struggled since Rangers’ return to the second tier.
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How have they been getting on so far this season?
The former Chelsea and Leeds striker has had a pretty impressive season today, which began by leading newly promoted Burton into promotion contention in League One. Now in the Championship, it’s three draws in three games at the Hoops and he’ll be looking for his first victory at Portman Road.
Who has the best record in this fixture?
This will be the 72nd meeting between the two sides with the Blues having a slight edge, having won 28 to QPR’s 25. You don’t have to be a mathematical genius to then work out there’s been 18 draws.
What happened the last time they met?
Rangers were in the Premier League last season, of course, but the last time they met things didn’t go so well for Ipswich. Mick McCarthy’s side lost both matches in 2013/14, 1-0 at Loftus Road and 3-1 at home, and are on a four game losing streak against the West Londoners. Town’s last win came in February 2010, when David Norris and Daryl Murphy scored the goals in a 2-1 win.
Who is the ref?
Darren Drysdale has the whistle this Boxing Day, which is a good omen for the Blues because he was in charge of the 5-2 win at Rotherham last month.
Who is the QPR danger man?
You can’t look at this side and not pick out Charlie Austin as the danger. He oh so nearly ended up at Portman Road, of course and ever since then has been scoring goals in the second tier and above. He scored 18 in the Premier League last season and has another 10 already this. It’ll be the Blues’ job to stop him adding to that tally.
Any familiar faces?
Both Jay Emmanuel Thomas and Massimo Luongo are former Blues and could make their Portman Road returns this weekend. JET left for Bristol City after Mick McCarthy never really took to him, while Luongo has gone on to win an Asian Cup MVP award and a Ballon D’or nomination since his loan spell ended.
What are the bookies saying?
The Blues are favourites at 11/10 with Bet365 while the R’s are 5/2. If you fancy JET to return to Portman Road in a blaze of glory he’s 3/1 to score at any time, with his doubled-barreled colleague and fellow ex Arsenal youth Ainsley Maitland-Niles priced at 11/4.
Anything else worth knowing?
Hasselbaink played against Ipswich five times during his playing career but scored just once, for Chelsea at Stamford Bridge in January 2001.