Town fans gear up for Chelsea away-day

IPSWICH Town fans are gearing up for their biggest day out in years.

Elvin King

IPSWICH Town fans are gearing up for their biggest day out in years.

'Bring on Chelsea' was the message today from Blues supporters after the wealthy Londoners beat Southend 4-1 at Roots Hall in last night's FA Cup third round replay.

Chelsea will now entertain Town in the fourth round at Stamford Bridge on Saturday week - and the visitors have been allocated 6,000 tickets.

They are all expected to be snapped up - leading to the biggest exodus of Ipswich fans since around 9,000 filled one section of the San Siro Stadium for a UEFA Cup third round game against Inter Milan in early December 2001.

And with Luiz Felipe Scolari's Chelsea in a state of some disarray, it is a good time to be taking on one of the big names in world football.

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With the manager under pressure after a series of disappointing results, and talk of disharmony in the Chelsea camp, Town fans will be anticipating a better result than the 4-1 reverse they suffered in Italy.

The prospect of taking on the likes of Frank Lampard, John Terry, Michael Ballack, Nicolas Anelka and Petr Cech is a mouthwatering one, enhanced by the fact that Chelsea are struggling to win at home these days and were held 1-1 by League One Southend at Stamford Bridge in the last round.

Tickets went on sale to selected Town fans today - and go on general sale next Wednesday.

Town defender Moritz Volz has a special reason to look forward to the glamour tie in west London.

The last time he played at Stamford Bridge the German, who will 26 next Wednesday, scored the Premier League's 15,000th goal.

He was playing for Fulham against Chelsea on December 20, 2006 and the goal gave birth to the nickname '15,000 Volz'

The defender, who is on loan at Portman Road from Fulham for the season, was able to donate �15,000 to a charity of his choice.

“Stamford Bridge is on my doorstep and I'll be up for a bit of that kind of action again,” said Volz. “And it would certainly make the Fulham fans happy, as well as the Ipswich fans! That's if we win, of course.”

Volz is troubled by a muscle problem, but he should be fit for Saturday's Coca-Cola Championship game at Crystal Palace - the last game before the visit to Stamford Bridge.

Talking of Ipswich's current league position on his webpage, Volz added: “Our position in the table hasn't really changed even though we're unbeaten in three games.

“We were all pretty disappointed with drawing at home at the weekend. But as always, it's about turning that disappointment into a good week's training and taking that into the next game.”