Venus: It's good to be back
MARK Venus looks forward to his first Premiership action of the season tomorrow against top of the table Leeds United after a glorious Euro baptism.The 34-year-old central defender came in for his first-ever European action as Ipswich beat Torpedo Moscow 2-1 on Thursday night in Russia to record a 3-2 UEFA Cup first round aggregate triumph.
By Dave Allard
MARK Venus looks forward to his first Premiership action of the season tomorrow against top of the table Leeds United after a glorious Euro baptism.
The 34-year-old central defender came in for his first-ever European action as Ipswich beat Torpedo Moscow 2-1 on Thursday night in Russia to record a 3-2 UEFA Cup first round aggregate triumph.
Venus, who was given his big chance again with Titus Bramble rested due to an Achilles tendon injury, said: "It was a magnificent and memorable night for me. A real highlight of my career. To play in Europe was the big ambition I had left.
"It was my first senior game of the season and I don't mind admitting that I felt a few sore muscles towards the end. But I kept going, I am feeling OK and I would dearly love to play against Leeds."
Bramble will remain sidelined for the visit of the Premiership leaders as will Dutch midfield man Martijn Reuser, who missed the match on Thursday due to a thigh problem.
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Right-back Chris Makin is expected to again wear a bandage on his left arm to protect a strain picked up in training in Russia.
Town face a bouyant Leeds side at Portman Road (kick-off 4pm).
But skipper Matt Holland insisted: "Hopefully the result against Torpedo can kick-start our season.
"We need to get points in the league and we can start on Sunday. It will be a tough game but I think that it is a good one for us just now. Leeds are a quality outfit. They not only have an excellent 11, but an excellent 22 as well.
"But we are live on television again. It will be another huge occasion for us and the perfect stage for a much needed league win."
Midfielder Lee Bowyer will be back in the Leeds starting line-up after completing a European suspension.
Bowyer missed Thursday's 3-0 UEFA Cup second leg win over Portugese side Maritimo.
Erik Bakke is likely to make way for him while striker Alan Smith is still missing due to an ankle problem.
Town lost 2-1 to Leeds at Portman Road last season in a match where striker Marcus Stewart was harshly sent off for a challenge on Ian Harte.
Ipswich: Sereni, Makin, McGreal, Venus, Hreidarsson, George, Magilton, Holland, Clapham, Stewart, Armstrong, Wilnis, Branagan, Counago, T Miller, Wright, Naylor, Gaardsoe.
Leeds: Martyn, Kelly, Harte, Dacourt, Woodgate, Keane, Viduka, Kewell, Bowyer, McPhail, Wilcox, Mills, Bakke, Matteo. Duberry, Batty, Burns, Maybury, Ferdinand, Robinson.