Key match-ups: Ipswich Town v Sheffield Wednesday – Where today’s game could be won and lost
Ipswich Town take on Sheffield Wednesday in their home game of the 2016/17 season today (3pm ko). Here’s where the game could be won and lost.
McGoldrick v Lees
Town striker David McGoldrick is looking back at his mesmerising best and has vowed to stay up top and be more selfish. With the hard-working Freddie Sears also playing on the last shoulder, Owls centre-backs Tom Lees and Glenn Loovens could have their hands full.
Lees, like McGoldrick, has endured two highly-frustrating injury-hit seasons. The former Leeds man and club vice-captain is keen to make up for lost time.
Lawrence v Hunt
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Tom Lawrence has his sights set on playing regularly in the Premier League next season – be that at parent club Leicester or elsewhere – following an impressive season-long loan at Ipswich. He’ll be keen to produce a couple more eye-catching displays before the campaign is over and remain in the shop window.
The direct-running forward, likely to play on the left today, scored a breathtaking solo goal at Hillsborough earlier this season. It will be intriguing to see if he and left-back Myles Kenlock can keep Owls winger Ross Wallace and attack-minded right-back Jack Hunt pinned back.
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Berra v Fletcher
Town have taken up their option to extend centre-back Christophe Berra’s contract by a further 12 months, even though he is keen to return to his native Scotland and be nearer his daughter. The no-nonsense defender may be extremely limited on the ball, but he’s still one of the best in the Championship when it comes to a full-bloodied physical battle.
He’ll certainly have his hands full today with fellow Scotland international and his ex-Wolves team-mate Steve Fletcher. The ex-Sunderland striker, so good in the air, has netted 10 goals this season and formed a good partnership with Gary Hooper recently. Of course, Jordan Rhodes and Fernando Forestieri could provide a different challenge for Berra and Luke Chambers.