Skipper to be named near to kick-off
IPSWICH TOWN: Darren O’Dea is the main doubt for the Blues when they take on Leeds United in the Championship at Portman Road this afternoon (kick-off 3pm).
Skipper David Norris and fellow midfielder Luke Hyam both have a free weekend as they will be serving one match suspensions, and O’Dea will be assessed before the start to see whether he can take his place in the side.
Called into the Republic of Ireland squad for their European Championship qualifiers against Russia and Slovakia the 23-year-old has been struggling to overcome a knee injury that has concerned him for a while.
Selected to play beside Gareth McAuley at the heart of the Town defence for Tuesday’s 1-0 defeat at Reading, O’Dea is on loan from Celtic until January.
Grant Leadbitter and Troy Brown both took knocks in midweek but will be available for selection with Keane still undecided about he will name as skipper in Norris’ absence.
“I’ll decide that when I decide on my team,” said Keane, who has made no loan moves over the last two weeks.
“We’ll miss the two suspended players, but we have to take our punishment and in Jake Livermore, Colin Healy and Jaime Peters we have good options.
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“Jake did reasonably well when he came on at Reading and I will have no problems starting with him.
“There might be a reaction from Leeds after their midweek home defeat, but we must ensure that we are switched on.
“I’m sure they’ll be a good reaction from my players to our defeat, and its straightforward – if we don’t take our chances we’ll be punished like we were at Reading.
“Teams who beat us will have to play well – they won’t get any helping hand from us this season.”
Keane is looking forward to seeing Alex Bruce back at Portman Road: “Our squad was getting stronger and perhaps there was an element of frustration with Alex.
“But he’s had a good move, and we shouldn’t kid ourselves about that.
“I’ll be nice to see him and I’m sure he’ll do well at Leeds.”
Today’s likely squads
Ipswich Town: Fulop, Brown, Eastman, Peters, McAuley, O’Dea, Smith, Kennedy, Edwards, Lambe, Leadbitter, Livermore, Townsend, Healy, Scotland, Wickham, Priskin, Murphy, Murray.
Leeds United: Higgs, Brown, Collins, Bruce, Naylor, McCartney, Sam, Johnson, Hughes, Howson, Gradel, Becchio, Somma, Snodgrass, Kilkenney, Clayton, Nunez, Faye, McCormack.
Referee: Mr K Hill (Hertfordshire)