Fan preview, prediction and poll: Ipswich Town will beat Leeds United at Elland Road

Stephen Hunt leaps on Daryl Murphy after the latter put Ipswich 1-0 up against Reading.

Stephen Hunt leaps on Daryl Murphy after the latter put Ipswich 1-0 up against Reading. - Credit: Lucy taylor

Football writer and Blues fan WILL RIDGARD previews Ipswich Town’s trip to Leeds United tomorrow night.

Ipswich travel to a struggling Leeds side buoyed by confidence after what was, in my opinion, one of their best results of the season on Saturday.

Not many thought Town would overturn a Reading side who were largely expected to comfortably win at Portman Road, especially considering that the Royals had thrashed Bolton 7-1 the week before and had beaten the Blues in the previous five straight fixtures.

But, after an ordinary first-half, Town rallied and inspired largely by a tantalising display by the outstanding Stephen Hunt, scored two second-half goals to kill off the threat of a Reading side who will be there or thereabouts at the end of the season.

As another star performer, Daryl Murphy, said after the game “it was a much-needed win” and one that puts the Blues back on tracks towards the much-desired play-off positions.

In my mind, Town would have struggled to beat Reading without these two Irishmen and both will be crucial to tomorrow night’s fortunes.

Hunt was only making his second start in blue but put in a really refreshing performance full of energy, grit and determination that was warmly appreciated by the Town faithful before the unmistakable winger fell dead on his feet as he was substituted mid-way through the second period.

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I hope, as will most Town fans, that by withdrawing the winger, Hunt will be fit and raring to go tomorrow evening along with Murphy who has been a major miss with his recent injury.

It’s perhaps no coincidence that with these two back in the starting line-up and aided by the best performances in a Town shirt that I’ve seen so far from both Ryan Tunnicliffe and Paul Anderson, that the Tractor Boys recorded such a fine victory.

So on to Leeds and it’s been a while since Town have recorded an away victory at Elland Road.

In fact, you’d have to look back to the 2005/06 season for that where Sam Parkin (Who? ‘He always scores away’) scored twice in a 2-0 triumph.

Forgetting the horror show in 2011/12 that saw Town at their embarrassing worst (think Alex McCarthy handling three yards from his area), the game from the 2006/07 season is the one Ipswich fans will remember the most.

That cult hero we used to have called Alan Lee – not sure where he is these days! – scored a last-minute header that famously relegated Leeds United to the third tier of English football.

The big man couldn’t come off the bench and do that again could he? We can only dream.

I joke, but a point wouldn’t be a bad result against 12th-placed Leeds away from home on a cold and damp Tuesday night in January.

That said, Leeds have lost their last five and haven’t recorded a home win in four – giving Mick McCarthy’s men even more confidence to go there and get three points.

You have to go back to December 14 for Leeds’ last league victory - a 3-0 triumph over Doncaster Rovers, that result rings a few bells for Ipswich fans doesn’t it?

Overall, Leeds sit smack bang in the middle of the Championship with as many wins under their belts as losses and possess a goal difference of 0. With Ipswich in similar inconsistent form, just who knows what the score might be tomorrow night.

Prediction

Away win, 2-1 Town.

But what do you think?

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