IPSWICH Town will have to make do without skipper Jon Walters for the first time this season.Bustling front-man Walters will miss today's crunch basement battle with Plymouth Argyle, due to a sprained ankle picked up during the dying minutes of Tuesday night's 1-1 home draw against Watford.
Ipswich soccer, team news
By Carl Marston
IPSWICH Town will have to make do without skipper Jon Walters for the first time this season.
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Bustling front-man Walters will miss today's crunch basement battle with Plymouth Argyle, due to a sprained ankle picked up during the dying minutes of Tuesday night's 1-1 home draw against Watford.
Walters, who is Town's leading scorer with four goals, has started all 13 league games this season, and has come off the bench for the two Carling Cup fixtures at Shrewsbury and Peterborough.
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Tamas Priskin and Jon Stead are the two main contenders for Walters' role alongside Pablo Counago at Home Park.
Hungarian international Priskin has been an unused substitute in the last two games, while Stead, who has been interesting Derby County, scored twice in the Reserves' 3-2 defeat at Peterborough United on Wednesday afternoon.
“Jon Walters is very doubtful. As soon as he went off I was very concerned. He's a big character for us,” confirmed Keane.
“He will not be long term, but he will need a few more days. He hasn't trained since and we won't be taking any chances.
“If you can't train on Friday, then it's highly unlikely that you'll be playing on Saturday.
“Every manager would like to select the same starting line-up every week, but you pick up injuries, some of the players are young, and others lose form.
“And we are still lacking one or two players of experience in certain positions,” added Keane.
The Town boss also revealed that he had turned down an approach for one of his players, although he refused to disclose who, or from where.
Meanwhile, Keane might make more changes than just choosing a replacement for the injured Walters, not least on the left flank, where Lee Martin disappointed during his 45 minutes of action against Watford. Jaime Peters came on at half-time and might retain his place, although Alan Quinn is another possibility.
Town will clamber off the basement if they can win at Home Park. But a defeat or draw would leave them still propping up the rest in the division.
“Plymouth are struggling, like us. People will claim it to be a six-pointer, but I'm fairly sure that if we win we'll only get three points!” continued Keane.
“They are fighting for their lives, but I think we'll still be able to express ourselves.”
Hosts Plymouth have won two of their 13 league games, thanks to back-to-back 2-1 wins at Peterborough and at home to Scunthorpe.
But they have also suffered four home defeats, at the hands of Nottingham Forest, Watford, Sheffield Wednesday and Cardiff. They drew 1-1 with visiting QPR.
Manager Paul Sturrock might recall Icelandic international Kari Arnason to his starting line-up today. Arnason has recently recovered from a torn hamstring, and also shrugged off a chest infection.
The 27-year-old was recruited by Sturrock as a specialist midfielder over the summer, but has been mainly employed as a centre-half.
Ex-Colchester United skipper Karl Duguid should be in the heart of midfield for the Pilgrims, while Jamie Mackie is the leading scorer with just three goals.
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