Injuries and bans pose problems for Jim

IPSWICH will be bidding to extend an unbeaten 19-year record against Leicester at Portman Road tomorrow.Town have won nine and drawn two of their last 11 home league games against the Midlands outfit and you have to go back to February 1988 for the Foxes' last success in Suffolk when they won 2-0.

By Mel Henderson

IPSWICH will be bidding to extend an unbeaten 19-year record against Leicester at Portman Road tomorrow.

Town have won nine and drawn two of their last 11 home league games against the Midlands outfit and you have to go back to February 1988 for the Foxes' last success in Suffolk when they won 2-0.

That game saw the first - and last - appearance of on-loan goalkeeper Tom Carson from Dundee, while former long-serving Ipswich keeper Paul Cooper wore the number one shirt for Leicester in what was a fifth successive defeat for John Duncan's team.

Tomorrow's game is more of a relegation battle than anything else, especially from the visitors' perspective as they are just three points clear of third-bottom Hull.

But a win tomorrow would take Rob Kelly's team to within two points of Ipswich and they would still have a game in hand.

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That is something of which Town boss Jim Magilton is only too aware as he considers his options, which are once again restricted through injury and suspension to key players.

With the play-offs realistically out of reach, Ipswich have to ensure they are not dragged backwards to become embroiled in what is shaping up to be a desperate struggle for Championship survival.

Magilton has been robbed of the services of top scorer Alan Lee, who was fined after collecting his tenth yellow card of the season in last week's

2-0 defeat at Crystal Palace, meaning he is absent tomorrow and from next week's FA Cup fifth round tie at Watford.

Gary Roberts also has an enforced rest as he serves a one-game ban tomorrow, while Gavin Williams is another non-starter as he looks to overcome a pelvic problem that saw him miss the game at Selhurst Park.

Fabian Wilnis (foot) and Owen Garvan (knee) are other doubts and if both are ruled out it will be a much-changed Town X1 that starts the game.

Spanish defender Sito will be in line for a recall if Wilnis fails to make it, while George O'Callaghan could make his first start for the club if Garvan isn't sufficiently fit.

Billy Clarke and Danny Haynes are vying for a place in attack alongside Jon Walters, who will be appearing at Portman Road for the first time as an Ipswich player.

Leicester will be without skipper Paddy McCarthy, who dislocated his shoulder last week, and hamstring victim Danny Tiatto, but striker Matty Fryatt is hoping to have recovered from a foot injury.

Scottish midfielder Stephen Hughes (groin/back) is another doubt and Jason Jarrett, signed on loan from Preston, stands by to make his debut.

The Foxes have been set a point-a-game target from their last 16 fixtures by manager Rob Kelly, which would take them to the 50-point mark and Championship safety.

This time last year they had just 26 points, which would put them bottom now, and Kelly, who took over from Craig Levein in January 2006, more than doubled that tally to 54, earning himself a one-year rolling deal.

Ipswich have allowed central defender Ian Miller, who was signed from Bury Town earlier this season, to join League Two side Darlington on a month's loan.

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