So many options - but who should replace Celina against Shrews?

Bersant Celina, Kyle Edwards, Joe Pigott, Rekeem Harper and Conor Chaplin

Bersant Celina, left, won't be able to play for Ipswich Town against Shrewsbury on Saturday. Will Kyle Edwards, Joe Pigott, Rekeem Harper or Conor Chaplin replace him in the starting XI? - Credit: Archant

Ipswich Town star Bersant Celina will miss this weekend's clash with Shrewsbury Town on international duty. Mark Heath looks at the contenders to replace him in the starting XI.... 

Kyle Edwards on a run.

Kyle Edwards will be at the top of the list of options to come into the side on Saturday - Credit: Steve Waller - www.stephenwaller

Kyle Edwards

You'd think Edwards would be the prohibitive favourite to replace fellow electrifying talent Celina. The winger was the highlight of the start of the season for Town, showing an ability to get fans off their seats unlike anyone we've really seen in recent years.

Had a month on the sidelines injured after the 2-2 draw with Wimbledon, returning as a sub in that defeat at Accrington Stanley, before playing 73 minutes in the win at Gillingham in the Trophy in midweek.

Should be ready to go, although he wouldn't be a like-for-like replacement, given he's unlikely to play the 10. So you could move Scott Fraser inside or....

Conor Chaplin was expecting the ball to be played to him at Gillingham

Conor Chaplin believes he's earned the chance to play - Credit: Pagepix Ltd

Conor Chaplin

If Paul Cook wants to go like-for-like and keep the other pieces of his front four in place, Chaplin looks to be at the head of that queue.

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He could just slot in and play the 10 as he has already this season  -  and on Tuesday night - plus is in goal-scoring form, having netted at Gillingham.

Brings a strikers' instincts to the role, and certainly feels like he's made his case. Of course, Cook could bring Chaplin in to replace Celina as the 10, and have Edwards out wide if he fancies resting either Scott Fraser or Wes Burns.

Rekeem Harper gets into a great position but miscues his shot during the second half at Gillingham

Rekeem Harper has been played in a more attacking role recently - Credit: Pagepix Ltd

Rekeem Harper

Harper started the season as Lee Evans' pal in the deep midfield positions, but his role seems to have changed for the foreseeable future in Cook's eyes with the arrival of Sam Morsy.

He's been brought off the bench to play in a much more attacking position in the league, and it's certainly not out of the question he could get a go in that 10 spot.

I, for one, would be fascinated to see what he could do in that position from the start of a game. It's probably a long shot for Saturday, though.

Joe Pigott puts a first time effort just inches over the bar at Priestfield.

Joe Pigott's scored three in seven games for Town. Could he play the 10 on Saturday? - Credit: Pagepix Ltd

Joe Pigott

It's been suggested, by my colleague Mike Bacon, that Town should try going 4-4-2 with Pigott and red-hot Macauley Bonne up top - an idea warmly received by readers.

That's unlikely to happen, of course - we know Paul Cook is firmly wedded to the 4-2-3-1. But putting Pigott at the 10 is an option - he likes to drop deeper for the ball and would then be an extra man in the box for the crosses which Burns and co. whip in.

Like Chaplin, he scored on Tuesday night, and will be champing at the bit to keep playing and taking chances - he's bagged three in seven games now, don't forget. Not Bonne rate, but still pretty decent.

The outsiders

The four names above are, in all honesty, by far the most likely to step in to the team this Saturday for the reasons discussed.

But, as he proved on Tuesday with the recall of Myles Kenlock, Cook's not above springing a surprise. Could he play the rough and tumble James Norwood as the 10 - an aggressive, all action combo with he and Bonne?

Or could decide to rest Wes Burns and bring the likes of Louie Barry, Sone Aluko or even Kayden Jackson into the side, moving Fraser to the 10 and playing any of the above wide with Kyle Edwards on the opposite flank? Barry could even play the 10 - although that seems highly unlikely given his relative lack of game time this season.

The Verdict

So many options for Cook, so many good players at this level.

For me, if he's fit and ready to play 90 minutes, Edwards is the obvious choice - bring him back wide left, move Fraser to his natural 10 spot and stick with Burns on the right and Bonne up top.

We'll find out come 2pm on Saturday!

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