Football: Jewell’s gladiators ready to slay the mighty Gunners

IPSWICH Town’s gladiators will be drawing their swords against Arsenal’s heavy artillery tonight with the chance of an historic victory on the cards.

Thousands of expectant Blues fans were preparing to enter the Emirates amphitheatre, where Paul Jewell’s men hold a 1-0 first-leg advantage.

That goal came courtesy of Portman Road hero Tamas Priskin, who will be looking to etch his name into Town folklore with another inspired performance.

Hordes of Tractor Boys will descend on the impressive north London stadium for one of the biggest matches in Super Blues history.

With Town currently leading the Gunners 1-0 after the Portman Road first leg of the Carling Cup semi-final, tonight’s match is going to be a nerve-racking one for the players, fans and the club’s new manager Paul Jewell.

Everyone is hoping that the boys will hold on to their lead and secure an appearance in a Wembley final.

And the army of 9,000 travelling fans have a new chant created after Cesc Fabregas claimed that Town had used rugby-style tactics to secure their 1-0 win at Portman Road.

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In response to his accusations, disgruntled Ipswich fans have re-worded the famous rugby anthem, Sweet Chariot in his honour.

In their thousands, Blues fans will shout: “Swing low, Cesc Fabregas, comin’ for to beat the Arsenal, Swing low.”

Phil Ham, Evening Star columnist and editor of TWTD.co.uk, said that fans were hopeful for a positive result.

“Excitement has been building since Saturday’s victory which led to everyone suddenly thinking ahead to the cup game.

“With 9,000 people going it is the biggest town following since the days of Milan. I think people are very hopeful.

“You can’t have big expectations when you’re playing Arsenal, but we do have the lead.

“We have to put in the same sort of display as the last game and we also need a little bit of luck on our side – with that hopefully we will be on our way to Wembley.”

Mr Ham believes first leg goal hero Tamas Priskin could again be the Blues’ matchwinner.

“Priskin has had a habit of scoring in pretty big games,” he said.

“Hopeful is the most fitting word for how I imagine most Town fans are feeling. We have a chance, more of a chance than people originally expected.”