Fan preview: Barnsley’s poor form should give Town the advantage on Saturday
Football writer and Ipswich fan Edmund Crosthwaite looks ahead to Barnsley’s visit to Portman Road on Saturday.
I’m backing Town to return to winning ways on Saturday, despite a hectic month on (and for some players, off) the pitch.
It’s their eighth game in March thanks to the rearranged Boro game but Town have still managed to put in credible performances.
As is often said on Match of the Day, good teams get results even when not at their best.
Though Barnsley are only two places below Town in 17th, their recent form has been pretty shocking, with just three wins and one draw from 12.
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By comparison Ipswich have lost only twice in the same number of matches, beating high-fliers West Ham and Cardiff along the way and earning a deserved point at Southampton.
With Barnsley’s most recent ten points coming at home I can’t see them upsetting the apple cart and getting all three tomorrow.
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That’s as long as Ipswich don’t let the Watford defeat and Middlesbrough draw get into their heads.
They probably should have beaten the Hornets and could have snatched a win on Tuesday, with Jewell saying the players have recently looked a little ‘flat’.
It would be just like Ipswich to let this little dip become a chasm, but the character shown recently makes me confident they can brush off recent disappointments and carry on up the table.
JET and Lee Martin will be key tomorrow afternoon, as they have been in most recent matches.
If JET can keep his high-energy performance up for 90 minutes he is devastating, while Martin’s playmaking has been a highlight during the team’s mini-resurgance.
Chopra relies on good service from others and while Leadbitter and the rest of midfield can always chip in with goals the lone striker will always shoulder scoring responsibilities.
I’m no longer too worried by the defence, though there have been lapses lately; they’ve settled and been better than earlier in the season.
There’s only one big concern for me: will a new keeper behind them undo all that progress?
Prediction? 3-1 to Town.