Town lining up Arsenal as friendly fare

FA CUP finalists Arsenal or fellow London Premiership side Fulham are being lined up as Ipswich Town's only home pre-season friendly fixture.

FA CUP finalists Arsenal or fellow London Premiership side Fulham are being lined up as Ipswich Town's only home pre-season friendly fixture, writes Derek Davis.

The game will be played at Portman Road on Friday, August 1, for an evening kick off.

Top Guns Thierry Henry and Patrick Vieira and perhaps even Arsenal's new keeper could be on show.

Or Chris Coleman could start his full season with a new-look Fulham at Ipswich. He was confirmed as the Cottagers' boss after steering them away from relegation danger, his appointment dashing George Burley's hopes, but the former Ipswich boss is firm favourite to take over at Derby where he finished the season as interim manager.


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The Blues traditionally meet continental opposition in a showpiece friendly before the season starts but are looking closer to home this season. They are already due to meet Colchester United, Southend United and Boston United, away from home and travel to Scandinavia for a three-game tour in July.

Meanwhile, Leicester appear unlikely to follow up an initial inquiry about Marcus Bent made by Director of Football Dave Bassett.

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A Foxes insider last night told me: "He has made a number of initial inquiries about quite a few players, including a couple at Ipswich, but is it very unlikely Leicester will be taking things any further regarding Marcus Bent."

And reports linking Tony Rougier to Ipswich appear to be wide of the mark. The former Port Vale winger, a good friend of Marcus Bent, has been released by Reading but is more likely to return to Brighton, where he went on loan.

There is also a chance ex-Royals midfielder Phil Parkinson may take the ex-Trinidad & Tobago player to Colchester United.

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