Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 18°C

min temp: 13°C

Search

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

Pagepix Ltd 07976 935738

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.

A woman in her 40s died after a serious crash on the A12 near Copdock yesterday afternoon.

Police are appealing for help to find a missing 19-year-old man from Stowmarket.

Green Light Trust Martlesham project helps people who have ‘stalled’ in life - and helps nature too.

Tributes have been paid to a greatly admired and long-standing Suffolk politican who passed away last week aged 63.

Volunteer lifesavers rescued a stranded yacht off the Essex coast this afternoon.

Police investigating a series of power tool thefts from vans and properties in Suffolk have recovered more than 120 items.

The East of England Ambulance Service answered 3,200 calls per day over the winter period, new data shows.

The sunshine, blue skies and record breaking temperatures of recent days are set to come to a thundery end - with heavy rain and lightning expected across the region this weekend.

In this week’s iWitness challenge we asked our photographers to show us what ‘local’ meant to them by capturing the parts of Suffolk they see every day.

A broken down train has prevented the minister responsible for the country’s transport system from visiting the Great Yarmouth area today.

Most read

Show Job Lists

Topic pages

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter
MyDate24 MyPhotos24