DERBY DAY: Ipswich Town fan Alex Mitchell’s big game preview & prediction

'Canary crusher' Danny Haynes made his name in the Anglian derby. Who will make their name tomorrow?

'Canary crusher' Danny Haynes made his name in the Anglian derby. Who will make their name tomorrow? - Credit: Archant

The biggest game in Anglian football returns tomorrow, as Norwich City visit Portman Road for the first time since 2011. Ipswich Town fan and sports writer Alex Mitchell shares his thoughts on the match...

Everybody stay calm, it’s just the derby, and it’s just like any other game in the season…

What am I talking about!? These two games of the season aren’t like the other 44.

We will all wake up on Saturday morning with that sick feeling in our stomach as we have to ‘welcome’ that sea of green and yellow into our beloved stadium.

We will have to listen to the dreary tone of ‘On the Ball City’ 300 times, but won’t it all be worth it if we beat them?

That feeling of elation is like no other. In recent years we can all remember Danny Haynes’ brace at the North Stand, and Giovani Dos Santos putting in a magnificent performance to effectively relegate the Canaries to League 1.

But let’s face it; we’ve also seen the other side of the coin. (Why don’t we just forget about 2010/11? Yep? OK, deal.)

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But that night has been in the back of our minds for three years now; it’s time for some revenge.

I’d love to sit here and say I’m full of confidence ahead of Saturday, but to be honest that would be a lie.

In fact I’m dreading it.

Our performance against Birmingham on Tuesday night highlighted many fears that I was worried about, with the main one being our lack of creativity without a fully fit David McGoldrick.

Didzy isn’t just goals, he can hold the ball up, bring other players into play, and Tuesday emphasised that without him on the pitch, we seem to be lacking that killer instinct in the final third.

I agreed with Mick McCarthy’s decision to leave our number 10 out of the starting line up at St. Andrews because we need him fresh and raring to go on Saturday.

I suppose I should talk about that team on the other side of the A140 now. Lewis Grabban hasn’t taken long to settle into life at Carrow Road, scoring three goals in two games, despite his two against Blackburn being rather fortuitous. And Bradley Johnson has also scored two wonder-goals in two games. I think a key battle in the game will be how our centre midfielders fare against Norwich’s. Cole Skuse has come under a bit of fire recently from the supporters, but I’m sure if he were able to dictate play in midfield on Saturday, he will change the fans opinions.

So it’s time for the fixture that first caught our eyes back on June 18th, the first East Anglian Derby since 2011. I can’t sit here and predict Norwich to win at Portman Road, I just can’t.

I don’t think the game will be a draw, players like Luke Hyam understand what this game means as he’s ‘one of our own’ so he will be giving everything he has to win the game.

Norwich have gone ahead in their last nine visits to PR, but I predict it’s time for that run to end.

1-0 Ipswich. There, I said it.

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