Poll/Have your say: Fan’s preview of Ipswich Town v Sheffield Wednesday

Kevin Bru scored at Brentford but now faces a spell on the sidelines with a hamstring injury

Kevin Bru scored at Brentford but now faces a spell on the sidelines with a hamstring injury

Ipswich Town host Sheffield Wednesday tomorrow in their first home game of the season. Blues fan and football writer ALEX MITCHELL previews the game.

Luke Chambers is the only player who will keep his place from Saturday's draw at Brentford.

Luke Chambers is the only player who will keep his place from Saturday's draw at Brentford. - Credit: sarah lucy brown

OPPONENTS

Wednesday have started the season with two wins, albeit against newly promoted Bristol City and Mansfield Town, and tomorrow will give a good indication of where the Yorkshire side are at in terms of putting up a promotion fight, which many pundits have tipped them for.

KEY BATTLES

Key battles will include Ross Wallace against Jonas Kudsen down Town’s left hand side, with Ipswich’s new Danish recruit hoping to impress on his Portman Road debut, and Daryl Murphy against Wednesday’s centre half Glenn Loovens. Last season’s 27 goal wonder was quiet at Brentford last weekend, but if he can test the Sheffield back line he could open up his account for this season.

TEAM SELECTION

Town are likely to put skipper Luke Chambers at right-back, with the return of Christophe Berra at centre-half after he served his one-match ban, meaning last weekends debutant Josh Emmanuel will drop to the bench.

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Up front, McCarthy has a handful of different ways he could line up his team. Murphy and Freddie Sears enjoyed a fantastic partnership at the end of last season, but it will be extremely difficult to leave out David McGoldrick after his impressive display against Stevenage on Tuesday. Brett Pitman also showed what he was capable of in the League Cup, linking up well with fellow Bournemouth signing Ryan Fraser.

I’m sure Fraser will start the game, and he will really test Wednesday’s right-back Jack Hunt. The loanee took his goal well at Brentford and impressed throughout, and he also changed the game on Tuesday when he was brought on at half-time.

Saturday will give the Portman Road faithful their first look at Ainsley Maitland-Niles, who is on loan from Arsenal, and if he plays like he did at Brentford he should certainly impress. You would expect a 17-year-old from The Emirates to be all skill and flair and not be willing to put in the work at the other end, but he did his fair share last weekend.

In the middle of the park I expect Jonathan Douglas to make his first start in the league as Kevin Bru is likely to be injured until after the international break in three weeks time.

BACK AT PORTMAN ROAD

Town boasted the joint best home record in the division last season, winning 15 of their 23 games at Portman Road, and McCarthy will be looking to impress on his side’s first outing at home in the league. Season ticket sales have risen by 16% from this time last year thanks to last seasons play-off campaign, and a crowd of around 20,000+ is expected tomorrow.

LAST VISIT

Town ran out 2-1 winners in this fixture last season, coming back from a goal down through two headers, the first scored by Murphy and the second by Chambers. In fact, for the last two seasons the scores have been a 2-1 victory for Town at home, and a 1-1 draw at Hillsborough. Wednesday have scored a single goal in their last five games against Town.

ODDS

Sky Bet are offering an Ipswich win at 21/20, a draw at 23/10 and a Wednesday win at Portman Road for the first time since 2012 at 13/5. A third consecutive 2-1 Town win against the Yorkshire side at home is priced at 8/1, and you can get Murphy to net his first of the season in 90 minutes at 7/4.

PREDICTION

I’m going to stick my neck on the line and say 3-1 Town. McCarthy will want a response after last week’s disappointment, and with all of Ipswich’s attacking options I think we could see lots of goals.

If you’re a betting man, I certainly would bet on both teams to score (10/11), as that has been the case in Town’s last 12 games!

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