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Kings of Anglia Issue 7 Magazine Offer With Jimmy Bullard and Tristan Nydam

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: Pagepix Callum 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: Pagepix Callum 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: PA Tom 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.

Big picture

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: PA Tom 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.

Stocks at one of Suffolk’s largest foodbanks have plunged to critical levels, an investigation by this newspaper has revealed.

Fire crews have battled a blaze in two acres of grassland off Ravenswood Avenue in Ipswich.

Travis Perkins is the latest big name set to join the Beardmore Park area of Martlesham Heath, as plans have been lodged for a brand new unit to be built.

An Ipswich GP surgery serving more than 14,700 people will close at the end of the year, health bosses have confirmed – leading to fresh fears that patients at nearby surgeries will struggle to get an appointment.

Housebuyers are prepared to pay up to pay a £143,000 premium for a home with a seaview in Felixstowe, it has been revealed.

The trailer to the new Ed Sheeran documentary ‘Songwriter’ - giving a behind-the-scenes look at how his latest album ÷ (Divide) was created - gives fans a glimpse into his life when he returns home to Suffolk.

Police have confirmed a man who died in a two-vehicle crash in Linton near Cambridge was 50-year-old Mitica Baiculescu from Ipswich.

Former Ipswich MP Ben Gummer has confirmed he will not be fighting the seat again in any future election – and is now looking at carving out a new life away from the cut and thrust of politics.

The amount Ipswich Town pays towards the cost of policing its own home games is “unfair” and should be higher, Suffolk’s top police officer has said.

Suffolk’s very own dancing queen Jo Darby is feeling like a super trouper after casters for the second Mamma Mia! film took a chance on her.

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