Video: Fans prepare to storm the Bridge

AN army of Ipswich Town fans were today preparing for the capital invasion of Chelsea's Stamford Bridge after the Blues sold out their entire allocation.

Josh Warwick

AN army of Ipswich Town fans were today preparing for the capital invasion of Chelsea's Stamford Bridge after the Blues sold out their entire allocation.

A staggering 6,000 supporters will make the journey to West London on Saturday as Suffolk's finest clash in the FA Cup Fourth Round with Roman Abramovich's uber-rich, star-studded outfit.

That is the biggest travelling support since Town played Inter Milan at the San Siro in 2001.


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But many more will be disappointed after the entire batch of tickets were sold by yesterday lunchtime, as season ticket holders and Gold Card members snapped up the chance to cheer on the Blues.

But all is not lost - Evening Star readers can still see the game by winning tickets in our Battle of the Blues competition.

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Hundreds of fans queued in miserable conditions at Portman Road to buy their tickets yesterday, clinging to the hope that Jim Magilton's unpredictable team can provide a stunning upset at one of the world's biggest clubs.

Town will have been encouraged by Southend's plucky draw at Stamford Bridge in Round Three along with Stoke City's narrow defeat in London on Saturday.

Evening Star columnist and Those Were The Days fanzine editor Phil Ham said optimism burned brightly among the Tractor Boy ranks.

“There's always a chance of an upset and if Southend can grab a draw at Stamford Bridge, why can't we?

“Obviously Town will have to be at their best and Chelsea will have to have an off day, but the chance of an upset, no matter how small it might be, is what makes the FA Cup what it is.”

Hopefully Town will have been practising corners and free-kicks after Chelsea's vulnerability to set pieces has been shown up in recent games - including their Premier League match with Stoke on Saturday.

It will be the first time supporters, who will be heading to West London by bus, car and rail, have enjoyed an away day at Chelsea since Town's dismal 2001/2002 relegation season.

On that occasion, George Burley's faltering team were beaten 2-1, the Blues goal coming from Marcus Stewart.

Stamford Bridge is one of the premier stadiums in Britain, seating 42,000 fans. Renovations to the ground were completed in 2001 and cost more than �100 million.

Town fans will be based in the famous Shed End, once home to Chelsea's most notorious and vociferous supporters.

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