BIG MATCH PREVIEW: Can Blue Army cheer Town onto victory?
WATCH out Blackpool, the Blues are coming.
A fantastic 1,500 Town fans will be descending on Bloomfield Road today to try and put the Peterborough humiliation well and truly to bed.
The club’s offer of free travel to Blackpool to say sorry for that 7-1 public drubbing has proved a massive hit with 13 supporters coaches leaving Ipswich bright and early this morning.
But a day by the coast will be ruined if the players on the pitch don’t produce the right result.
Though the nightmare on London Road was just three weeks ago, optimism has quickly returned to Portman Road. New players have come in since, headed by Jimmy Bullard and most recently Danny Collins, but the most important thing was surely Keith Andrews’ 89th minute deflected winner against Leeds United a fortnight ago.
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The late strike could turn out to be one of Town’s most important goals of the season and certainly in the short-term, it has got everyone “buzzing” again, to quote Andrews.
Town boss Paul Jewell has arguably his toughest selection posers since taking over at Ipswich. But he wouldn’t have it any other way.
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At the back, he must choose two from new loan signing Collins, Ibrahima Sonko, the returning Ivar Ingimarsson and Damien Delaney.
The speed of which Jewell ensured the Collins deal was completed yesterday suggests the Stoke City defender will make his debut with Sonko probably getting the nod after his excellent debut against Leeds.
The dilemmas continue in the heart of midfield with Lee Bowyer back and up against Mark Kennedy, Keith Andrews, Jimmy Bullard and Grant Leadbitter. Something will have to give.
Jewell has hinted that Jason Scotland might start but it seems likely that he will match Blackpool with numbers in midfield.
Assuming Michael Chopra is a certain starter, Daryl Murphy should begin on the left with either Josh Carson or even Leadbitter on the right.
Seasiders boss Ian Holloway has revealed that Kevin Phillips has missed training all week because of a combination of a sore back and an illness to his wife.
But the veteran striker, who has scored four goals in five matches, is expected to start.
Elliot Grandin will miss a third consecutive game with a foot injury while Neal Eardley could come back into the squad after suffering a dislocated finger.
While missing out on a number of attacking targets, including Ipswich’s own Jason Scotland, Holloway will add deadline day signings James Hurst and Daniel Bogdanovic to his squad.
Ipswich Town: Stockdale, Edwards, Collins, Ingimarsson, Delaney, Cresswell, Kennedy, Bullard, Andrews, Leadbitter, Murphy, Chopra, Lee-Barrett, Sonko, Ainsley, JET, Bowyer, Carson, Scotland
Blackpool: Gilks, Baptiste, Cathcart, Evatt, Crainey, Ferguson, Southern, Taylor-Fletcher, Ormerod, Phillips, Clarke, Halstead, Hill, Sylvestre, Sutherland, Ince, Hirst, Bogdanovic