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Kings of Anglia Issue 8 Magazine Offer

Match preview: Derby haven’t conceded a goal since Town’s Ram-raid

PUBLISHED: 12:32 28 December 2017 | UPDATED: 12:32 28 December 2017

Bartosz Bialkowski gives former team-mate Tom Lawrence a hug after Ipswich's win at Derby. Photo: Pagepix

Bartosz Bialkowski gives former team-mate Tom Lawrence a hug after Ipswich's win at Derby. Photo: Pagepix

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Ipswich Town host Derby County in a Championship match at Portman Road on Saturday. STUART WATSON previews the latest instalment of the festive action.

Callum Connolly scores his early goal at Derby. Photo: PagepixCallum Connolly scores his early goal at Derby. Photo: Pagepix

Games coming thick and fast

This is game three of five in a hectic 15-day turn-of-the-year schedule.

Town boss Mick McCarthy rotated his squad for the tame Boxing Day goalless home draw with QPR, making five changes to the side which had narrowly lost 1-0 at Wolves prior to Christmas.

After Saturday comes a trip to Fulham (January 2), followed by the FA Cup third round visit of Sheffield United (January 6).

Midfield woes

It was heartbreaking to see Teddy Bishop limp off with a hamstring injury less than 45 minutes into his first start of the season.

The Blues now have eight central midfielders sidelined, with Emyr Huws and Andre Dozzell (both knee) out for the season, Cole Skuse (missed the last two with a bruised ankle) a doubt for tomorrow, and Tom Adeyemi (hamstring), Flynn Downes (calf), Tristan Nydam (hip) and Luke Hyam (knee) seemingly all not ready to return to action just yet.

Who will partner Callum Connolly tomorrow? Kevin Bru missed the QPR game as he was attending a funeral and comes back into the equation. Grant Ward has played centrally before and could be called upon.

Callum Connolly celebrates his early goal at Derby. Photo: PagepixCallum Connolly celebrates his early goal at Derby. Photo: Pagepix

Rams out for revenge

Town kept up their incredible record at Pride Park (W7 D3) with a battling 1-0 win on November 28, the Blues standing firm after Connolly’s expert early header.

Conversely, Derby have rather enjoyed coming to Portman Road in recent times though, their 3-0 victory last season making it four wins from five on Suffolk soil.

Since losing to Town, Gary Rowett’s men have kept five successive clean sheets and dropped just two points.

Tom Huddlestone (top) and Derby team-mates celebrate David Nugent's second goal in a recent 3-0 home win against Millwall. Photo: PATom Huddlestone (top) and Derby team-mates celebrate David Nugent's second goal in a recent 3-0 home win against Millwall. Photo: PA

They won 1-0 against Burton (h), 3-0 at Barnsley, 2-0 against Aston Villa (h), 3-0 against Millwall (h) and drew 0-0 at Hull on Tuesday to move to within two points of the automatic promotion places.

Curtis Davies, Bradley Johnson, Joe Ledley, Tom Huddlestone, Matej Vydra, David Nugent, Tom Lawrence... This is a star-studded Rams side that really should be challenging at the top.

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Town are now an equidistant 19 points between top and bottom and an equidistant five points between the play-off places and bottom half.

Tom Lawrence scored 11 goals on loan at Ipswich Town from Leicester last season. Photo: PATom Lawrence scored 11 goals on loan at Ipswich Town from Leicester last season. Photo: PA

The next few games could determine how long top-six talk continues.

Devastated colleagues of an ever smiling, popular young pub worker tragically killed in a road crash have paid a moving tribute to her, saying life “won’t be the same without her”.

When you’re hunting for a new home, what can you buy for around £300,000? How about part of a unique pub conversion in Ipswich or a bungalow in Brandon?

An alcohol free bar is set to open its doors in Essex, we speak to people in Ipswich to hear their thoughts on the new business venture.

Visitors to Stonham Barns were transported more than 1,000 years back in time as the site was transformed into a battleground fit for the Dark Ages.

A man who attempted to arrange to have sex with a child was jailed this week as well as a burglar and a London drug dealer. Take a look at how long they spend behind bars.

Eight students at the Lindbergh Campus in Ipswich, which provides alternative education as part of the Raedwald Trust, have had their stories published in an international book as part of a short story competition.

A man and a woman have been arrested following an altercation in the car park of the Golden Hind pub in Ipswich.

A married couple who died this week are thought to have fallen down the stairs of their Aldeburgh home.

Black bin bags full of rubbish were left strewn across a part of the Suffolk countryside.

A taxi, coach and mini-bus hire company in Ipswich has stopped trading, leaving a group of customers with a prior booking waiting for a minibus that never turned up.

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