Defensive duo offer options for Jim

PIM Balkestein and Ivan Campo will come into consideration for a place in Ipswich Town's defence for their Coca-Cola Championship visit to the Ricoh Arena, Coventry tomorrow (kick-off 3pm).

Elvin King

PIM Balkestein and Ivan Campo will come into consideration for a place in Ipswich Town's defence for their Coca-Cola Championship visit to the Ricoh Arena, Coventry tomorrow (kick-off 3pm).

Defenders Alex Bruce and Ben Thatcher are suspended while Gareth McAuley is recovering from a bruised shin and ankle and a black eye sustained in last Saturday's home defeat by Cardiff City.

McAuley, the Blues team captain, is expected to be fit after colliding with a post at the weekend and also taking a blow from a stray arm.

And David Wright has been passed fit after missing the Cardiff match because of a chest infection.

But with the Town back line looking fragile in the early stages against Cardiff, Town manager Jim Magilton might decide to make more changes than recall David Wright for Thatcher.

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Club captain Richard Naylor was not at his best on Saturday taking time to find his feet having been kept out of the side in recent games by Bruce.

Naylor, Town's longest-serving player, formed a strong barrier with McAuley when Ipswich lost just one league game in 11 earlier this season and is favourite to partner McAuley at the heart of the defence.

But Magilton has options with young Dutch defender Balkestein who can play beside McAuley or at left back freeing David Wright to play in the middle.

Campo has been left in the cold in recent weeks, but he has played at the back at the highest level and could be on the bench.

In midfield, Magilton has decisions to make even though Owen Garvan will be serving a one-match ban for five bookings.

Garvan has been shortlisted for the Under-21 Player of the Year at the Football Association of Ireland International Awards.

The 20-year-old has been a regular starter for Don Givens' Republic of Ireland Under-21's this year and scored in games against Portugal and Lithuania.

Celtic defender Darren O'Dea - a reported Town target - and Sheffield United midfielder Stephen Quinn have also been nominated. The ceremony takes place on Sunday, February 8.

Tommy Miller, Danny Haynes and Stephen Quinn's younger brother Alan will come into the reckoning, while up front Pablo Counago, Jon Stead, Kevin Lisbie and possibly Jon Walters will compete for the one or two places available.

Volz, who is on a one-season loan from Fulham, will be in opposition to his former manager at Craven Cottage Chris Coleman.

The German came to Ipswich to help them climb back into the Premier League and with the season now going into the second half it is time for the Blues to start putting together a number of good results.