Big match preview: Ipswich Town v Sunderland – everything you need to know
PUBLISHED: 11:14 26 September 2017
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Ipswich Town host Sunderland in a Championship clash tonight (7.45pm). STUART WATSON previews the action.
Ipswich Town manager Mick McCarthy is ready to put Kevin Bru in the shop window over the coming weeks.
The Paris-born, Mauritian international midfielder made 59 starts and 35 substitute appearances for the Blues over the previous three seasons, but was placed on the transfer list this summer.
It seemed the 28-year-old had played his last game for the club, but he has been recalled from the cold to sit on the bench for tonight’s Championship home game against Sunderland.
That’s because 17-year-old Tristan Nydam is set to be rested after an all-action display in Saturday’s 3-2 defeat at Leeds, Adam McDonnell is at Aldershot on loan, while Flynn Downes (thigh), Emyr Huws (Achilles), Teddy Bishop (groin), Luke Hyam (knee) and Andre Dozzell (knee) are all injured.
“Kevin Bru is on the bench,” said McCarthy. “He was put on the (transfer) list, but he’s trained really well and I’m sure he’ll be delighted to be involved.
“He’s here up until Christmas now (with the transfer window being shut) and I need him at the moment.
“I’ve told him he can go and that will still be the case in January, unless he comes in and rips it up and gets five or six goals. Good luck to him. He’s been a model professional and is a great lad.”
Academy graduate Nydam has played left-back, central midfield and left-midfield during his seven first team outings so far.
“I think he’ll be a central midfield player and whether that’s in a two or a three it doesn’t matter,” said McCarthy. “He was the one in front of the two sitters at Luton earlier this season and was excellent there.
“Technically he’s very good, tactically he knows what’s going on around him and he’s a tough little bugger as well. I love him, the same as Flynn (Downes).
“He can play wide in a four and at full-back too. There’s not many good enough that can play in three different positions, let alone a 17-year-old. Wherever he’s played he’s coped admirably.”
Meanwhile, the Blues boss also had praise for stand-in centre-back Jordan Spence. He said: “I was just talking to him about the goals we conceded (at Leeds) and how they were disappointing, then I had to stop myself and say ‘by the way, you’ve been brilliant at centre-half’. He has played really, really well in there.”
Team name: Sunderland
Nickname: Black Cats / Mackems
Manager: Simon Grayson (Jun ‘17: P12 W3 D3 L6)
Key summer signings: Vaughan (Bury), Grabban, Wilson (both B’mouth), McGeady (Everton), Ruiter (Utrecht), Browning, Galloway (both Everton loans).
Key exits: Pickford (Everton), Defoe (B’mouth), Mannone (Reading), Borini (AC Milan, loan), Anichebe (Beijing Enterprises).
Position last season: 24th in Premier League
Last game: Sat: L 2-1 (h) Cardiff
• Sunderland haven’t won a league game in the month of September since 2012
• Sunderland the only Championship side yet to keep a clean sheet this season
• Ipswich have drawn a blank just once in 10 games across all competitions
Ipswich Town team news
• Flynn Downes (thigh) remains sidelined, with Mick McCarthy revealing transfer-listed midfielder Kevin Bru will be on the bench. • The Blues says there are several ‘tired legs’ following Saturday’s 3-2 defeat at Leeds and that he is considering rotating his squad. • Ex-Sunderland striker Martyn Waghorn is set to start, while Bersant Celina, Freddie Sears, Myles Kenlock and Callum Connolly are also options for change. • Emyr Huws, Adam Webster, Tommy Smith, Teddy Bishop, Luke Hyam and Andre Dozzell remain unavailable.
Sunderland team news
• Simon Grayson’s attacking options could be boosted by the returns of ex-Town loanee Jonny Williams (illness) and Callum McManaman (groin). Both were late withdrawals ahead of Saturday’s 2-1 home defeat to Cardiff.
• Key forward Duncan Watmore may be on the bench again after a knee injury, while defender Billy Jones is also back in contention. • Aiden McGeady could start after making an impressive return from a hamstring injury as a sub at the weekend. • John O’Shea (calf), Lewis Grabban (hamstring) and Josh Maja (knee) remain out.
Opposition key man
Aiden McGeady The Irish winger gave Town nightmares when on loan at Preston last season and has linked up with Simon Grayson again. Inconsistency stopped him making the grade at Everton, but has skill in abundance.
Ipswich Town (28/17) Draw (12/5) Sunderland (2/1)
Darren Bond (Lancashire) Games: 11, Yellows: 39, Reds: 1
Sunderland 1 Ipswich Town 0
Date: January 13, 2007
David Connolly’s early goal proved the difference in a scrappy game. Sunderland went on to win the Championship title under Roy Keane with Jim Magilton’s men finishing 14th. Alan Lee (2) and Darren Currie were the scorers when Town won the reverse fixture 3-2.
Sense Blues have their belief back, while Sunderland have the losing habit.