Shefki: We can catch Crystal Palace

SHEFKI Kuqi today expressed his surprise that his parent club Crystal Palace are ahead of Ipswich in the race for a play-off place.And he doesn't think the Selhurst Park-based side will end in the top six.

Elvin King

SHEFKI Kuqi today expressed his surprise that his parent club Crystal Palace are ahead of Ipswich in the race for a play-off place.

And he doesn't think the Selhurst Park-based side will end in the top six.

The 31-year-old Finland international is on loan at Portman Road until the end of the season, and is hopeful of overcoming a hamstring strain to be available for Saturday's game at Preston.

Town need six points to attain 71 in the Coca-Cola Championship, and that could well be enough to finish in the top six.

But Palace are currently three points ahead of the Blues - with just two games left and a four-goal better goal difference.

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Told by Palace boss Neil Warnock that he would not play for the Londoners again after an alleged abusive gesture to fans when substituted in a match in February, Kuqi is delighted to be back with Ipswich, a club he would love to join on a permanent basis.“Palace have some good players and they have done very well and are on a roll,” he said. “But I think Ipswich can catch them. I would be surprised if Palace end in the top six. In my opinion Ipswich are a better side and better equipped for advancement.”

Palace have a tough game at Hull on Saturday, while Town officials, players and supporters will be keeping an eye on proceedings at Molineux tonight.

Wolves can drop Ipswich down to seventh with a win over FA Cup finalists Cardiff who are now effectively out of the play-off race and may rest some players before Wembley.