Something has to give as Watford visit

SOMETHING has to give tomorrow when the team with the best home record in the Coca-Cola Championship clashes head-on at Portman Road (kick-off 3pm) with the team with the best away record.

Elvin King

SOMETHING has to give tomorrow when the team with the best home record in the Coca-Cola Championship clashes head-on at Portman Road (kick-off 3pm) with the team with the best away record.

While Ipswich Town have won 11 and drawn four of their 15 home matches this season, opponents Watford have won nine, drawn three and lost three of their 15 games away from Vicarage Road.

A victory for Jim Magilton's Blues will see them stretch their unbeaten home league run to 20 games, a run that has seen the Blues make the top six and handily placed to make a serious play-off challenge.

Magilton brought in five newcomers during the January transfer window, and on the evidence of last weekend's welcome 2-1 away win at Sheffield Wednesday the manager's squad is now better equipped to reach the Premier League.

Three newcomers are set to make their home debuts tomorrow with Magilton unlikely to tinker with his side unless he rewards striker Alan Lee for his match-winning substitute appearance at Hillsborough.

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Goalkeeper Stephen Bywater and midfielder David Norris are set to start with Macedonian international Velice Sumulikoski beginning the game on the bench but likely to come on at some stage.

The Watford visit represents one of Ipswich's toughest challenges, but having shattered one unwanted record last weekend Town will be determined to keep another cherished run going.

Town season-ticket holders are among the best-served in football, having been treated to a feast of wins, goals and sparkling performances since the last defeat at Portman Road - against Southend United last March.

In the run Town have scored at a rate of nearly two and a half goals a game, and have also kept nine clean sheets.

The wheels have come off a bit in recent weeks with three draws in the last four league home matches so Town will be desperate to get on the victory trail tomorrow.

Maximum points would take them to within four points of the Hornets.

Meanwhile, Norwich City have been linked with a loan move for 19-year-old Newcastle striker Andy Carroll, who Ipswich have been keeping tabs on.

The player's agent Peter Harrison says Carroll could prove an ideal short-term replacement for leading Canaries scorer Jamie Cureton, who has just had his appendix removed.

Harrison also represents Town signing Velice Sumulikoski, who was on trial at Norwich before joining Ipswich last month.

“There are other clubs interested in Andy with Ipswich being one of them,” said Harrison.