Who are ya?

READING boss Steve Coppell has admitted he has no idea how Ipswich Town will line up on Saturday so will use an unchanged side against them at Portman Road.

Derek Davis

By Derek Davis

READING boss Steve Coppell has admitted he has no idea how Ipswich Town will line up on Saturday so will use an unchanged side against them at Portman Road.

Coppell's scouts have watched the Blues in the past couple of games but have learnt little so has already decided to stick with the starting XI that beat Crystal Palace 4-2 last time out.


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Blues boss Jim Magilton will be looking for a more settled side from now on after bringing in seven new players during the summer, with Jon Stead the latest joining Gareth McAuley, Pim Balkestein, Ben Thatcher, Iván Campo, Kevin Lisbie and Moritz Volz.

But the confusion caused by the changes could work to Town's advantage as they go searching for their first home league win of the campaign.

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Coppell said: “We have had four games in the division and their team has changed an awful lot, even in those games. They have brought players in like Volz, Campo and Stead on loan and Counago has come back and Lee's gone.

"There is quite a significant change so the team that plays against us will be totally different to the team that started the season, so it's difficult to take anything from their first four matches.

"I will more than likely stick to the same side as the one that played against Palace."

That means 19-year-old centre half Alex Pearce, who spent an 11 game loan spell at Norwich City, will play and he admits he is expecting a hot reception from Town fans.

He said: “I probably will come in for some stick, but it won't be a problem and I won't let it affect me.

“I'm still looking forward to it. It's just another chance for me to show what I can do.

“I played there last season for Norwich and we lost 2-1, but we didn't deserve anything from the game.

“It was a very good match to play in and valuable experience to play in such an atmosphere.

“It's a nice ground to play football at. The last time I played there it was really, really loud. I was pretty impressed with the place.”

There have been slight injury concerns over Kevin Doyle after he scored for the Republic of Ireland while skipper Graeme Murty came through a reserve game without a reaction and will be pushing Liam Rosenior for the right back spot.

Ipswich have also got all their players back from international duty with Veliche Shumulikoski starring for Macedonia, Owen Garvan knocking in two goals for the Republic of Ireland Under 21s on Tuesday, while Alex Bruce didn't get any game time for the Republic while Gareth McCauley was left out of Northern Ireland's two games so will be fresh coming back.

David Norris and David Wright both came through Town's reserves draw at Colchester United's Cuckoo Farm and are in strong contention to make Magilton's squad.

So, just for Mr Coppell, here is the possible line up. Richard Wright should keep his place in goal, with Volz, Richard Naylor, McAuley and Thatcher his back line, and Iván Campo just in front of them. Jon Walters could line up on the right of a diamond, Tommy Miller or Liam Trotter on the left, with Pablo Counago tucking in behind debut-making Stead and Kevin Lisbie.

derek.davis@eadt.co.uk

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