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Kings of Anglia Issue 10 Magazine Offer

'We're not looking at promotion parties... It's about what's right for us' - Town ready to give kids an end-of-season exam against Sheffield United and Leeds

PUBLISHED: 06:00 27 April 2019

Josh Emmanuel, Corrie Ndaba and Idris El Mizouni could all be involved at Sheffield United today. Picture: ROSS HALLS/STEVE WALLER

Josh Emmanuel, Corrie Ndaba and Idris El Mizouni could all be involved at Sheffield United today. Picture: ROSS HALLS/STEVE WALLER

Archant

Ipswich Town take on Sheffield United, at Bramall Lane, in a Championship clash this afternoon. STUART WATSON previews the action.

Gwion Edwards is an injury doubt for Ipswich Town today. Photo: Steve WallerGwion Edwards is an injury doubt for Ipswich Town today. Photo: Steve Waller

Relegated Ipswich Town are now key protagonists in the automatic promotion race, but that will not stop manager Paul Lambert experimenting.

Sheffield United will guarantee themselves a top-two spot if their result against Town this tea-time (5.15pm ko, Sky Sports) proves better than Leeds' result against Aston Villa tomorrow lunchtime.

MORE: McGoldrick on the cusp of a Premier League promotion, while Ipswich head for League One – the story behind last summer's split

A win would, due to a far superior goal difference, effectively do the job regardless of what happens elsewhere.

Should that not transpire, Leeds will come to Portman Road on the final day still in with a shot of avoiding the lottery of the play-offs.

“We're not looking at Sheffield United's promotion party or Leeds United's promotion party,” said Blues assistant boss Stuart Taylor. “It's about what's right for us as a football club and what's right for our players – we will always make decisions based on that.”

MORE: 'Lads go out on loan for a reason... they're certainly not forgotten about' - Ipswich loanees to return for a fresh start

Homegrown midfielder Idris El Mizouni made his debut recently, with Lambert having said that teenage centre-back Corrie Ndaba would follow suit before the end of the campaign.

Ellis Harrison could be available again following a back problem. Photo: Steve WallerEllis Harrison could be available again following a back problem. Photo: Steve Waller

Fringe youngster Josh Emmanuel and Tristan Nydam, loane Callum Elder – a potential summer signing – and the fit-again Ellis Harrison could also get rare game time.

“I think we've done a lot of experimenting already,” said Taylor.

MORE: Injury updates on Huws, Adeyemi, Edwards, Kenlock and Harrison ahead of Town's visit to Sheffield United

“We've always looked at the future here and don't believe anything should be done short-term, so it's about the bigger picture at all times.

Ipswich Town assistant boss Stuart Taylor. Photo: Steve WallerIpswich Town assistant boss Stuart Taylor. Photo: Steve Waller

“If that means looking to next season then we have no problem with that in terms of where players are going to play and giving them tests along the way.

“That's the only way we're going to know how they will do. They need to be tested.

“We have no lack of confidence or fear with the younger ones. We know how we are going to play, we know the system that we use and they know the patterns we want to play in.”

MORE: 'This is a club where he can find his home' - Chambers wants Town to keep striker Keane

Meanwhile, Taylor says Town can take inspiration from Sheffield United, a club who recently spent six seasons in the third-tier.

“Sheffield United, not all that long ago, were pretty close to rock bottom,” said the Scot.

“They put foundations in place, built, improved and progressed and now find themselves pushing for promotion. All credit to them.”

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Opposition lowdown

Last five finishes: 10th (all Championship), 1st, 11th, 5th, 7th (all League One)

Manager: Chris Wilder (May '16): P146 W80 D31 L38

Last 10 games: WWDDW LWWWD

Last game: W 3-0 Hull (a)

Last home game: W 2-0 Nottm Forest

Home league record: P22 W14 D4 L4 F49 A33

Ellis Harrison celebrates his goal against Sheffield United last December along with Trevoh Chalobah and Gwion Edwards. Photo: Steve WallerEllis Harrison celebrates his goal against Sheffield United last December along with Trevoh Chalobah and Gwion Edwards. Photo: Steve Waller

Margins of victory: 1 (x11), 2 (x8), 3+ (x6)

Margins of defeat: 1 (x9), 3+ (x1)

Top-scorers: 24: Sharp; 15: McGoldrick

Most league starts: 44: Henderson; 43: Stevens, Fleck; 42: Egan; 41: Norwood

Last meeting

Ipswich Town 1 Sheffield United 1

Date: Saturday, December 22, 2018

Ellis Harrison produced a fine finish from outside the box, with the aid of a slight deflection, to give Town a first half lead (38). Billy Sharp headed home after the restart in what was an entertaining draw. Paul Lambert's men moved to within four points of safety.

Stu's prediction

Sheffield United 3 Ipswich Town 0

Blades a well-oiled machine that can smell promotion. Town rock-bottom and experimenting. This could get messy.

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