Often Partisan

Ipswich Preview in Association with EZE Group

Portman Road is the next destination for Gary Rowett’s battle-weary team as they search for a first league win in eight games. Although five of the previous seven have been draws the first few tidings of angst have returned to a support previously buoyed by the resurgence under Rowett.

Ipswich Town

Mick McCarthy’s Ipswich lie in fourth place in the table on fifty-seven points, only three fewer than the Middlesbrough who lie second. Their form has been a bit up and down of late with February seeing two wins and two defeats for the Tractor Boys; however they have only won one game in five in all competitions at Portman Road in 2015 and have only kept one clean sheet.

There are some injury worries too for Ipswich; former Blues midfielder Darren Ambrose misses out with a hamstring strain while both of the Hunt brothers also miss out – Stephen with a hamstring injury and Noel with a knee injury. Loanees Luke Varney and Richard Chaplow could both come into the team.


David Davis could return to the team after missing out against Brighton having returned to light training but the decision will be left to the last possible moment. One player who won’t be in the squad is Koby Arthur, who has picked up a thigh strain in training; however Neal Eardley is eligible now his loan period has elapsed and could come into the bench.

The big calls will be in midfield; if Davis is fit or not and if he isn’t if Kiernan will continue to deputise for him. Cotterill could return to the starting lineup – hopefully at the expense of Lloyd Dyer who has been unimpressive since he joined on loan from Watford. Rowett has said he will shake it up and while I think he’ll stick with the same tactics I wonder if he’ll drop Stephen Gleeson who has struggled without the industrious Davis by his side.

This is a tough game that I don’t expect anything from – but that might just work in our favour. The question is if Rowett will freshen things up with changes – and if he does how players coming into the team perform. If he doesn’t, then all we can hope is that the players have learned from errors of Saturday and put in a better performance; we really do need a win sooner rather than later.

Match previews sponsored by EZE Group - Lifestyle Experts

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33 Responses to “Ipswich Preview in Association with EZE Group”

  • nicko says:

    dyer out for sure he is a passenger at the minute. i hope gary can find room for thomas.

  • StaffsBlue says:

    As much as he talks about changes, I don’t think he’ll veer too far off course tonight. I think the defence might stay the same. As poor as Specs and Robbo were on Saturday, they’d stood pretty firm before that, so I think he might give them the nod again. I think that Reilly should replace Davis if he isn’t fit and I expect Cotterill to come back in. There might be a place for Novak too. Then it’s a choice between Donaldson and Thomas. It could be similar to this: (4-2-3-1)

    Caddis Spector Robinson Grounds
    Gleeson Davis
    Cotterill Shinnie Novak

  • cwood blue says:

    I think we looked a much better team when rowett went with a 4-4-2 for the latter stages of the brighton game. teams have found ways to stop us when we go with the 4-2-3-1 formation, maybe we should start with a 4-4-2 if davis does make it, and give them something different to think about with 2 strikers, thomas deserves a start for me!

    Caddis Spector Robinson Grounds
    Cotts Davis Gleeson gray
    Thomas Donaldson

    • StaffsBlue says:

      I would go 4-4-2 as well… but I’m not Rowett. :)

    • Mike says:

      I like the look of that team, but would worry about 4-4-2 if Davis is unavailable as I feel the midfield would need to be reinforced. Like Staffs, I think it will be the same tactics with a couple of adjustments to personell, but if Davis remains out I would be tempted to go with a diamond to strengthen middle of the park, with Gray at the head in a ‘free role’ behind Donaldson and Thomas. That would give their defensive unit something to think about! KRO

      • StaffsBlue says:

        That sounds workable too. The only thing with the diamond, is that your full backs have to do a good shift up and down the pitch. Caddis is quite nimble, but I’m not sure Grounds could cope. I suppose itcould work with Hancox.

        • Mike says:

          Agree Staffs, diamond formation not workable with Grounds at LB. Would be asking a lot of Riley in a left-mid role within the diamond. I am a fan of 4-2-3-1, and we have been creating plenty of chances in recent weeks. It was certainly reaping rewards when the players were on form prior to the turn of the year. The trouble is that when your lone striker and supporting ‘no 10’ are misfiring you can become rather toothless and we then become reliant on Cott’s setpieces (which have appeared to have deserted him of late). I would support 4-4-2 (with Davis) in an attempt to change our fortunes, but I doubt GR will go this way away at the 4th place.

          • StaffsBlue says:

            Football is a simple game Mike. Score more goals than the opposition and you pick up 3 points. But when, as you say, our No’s 9 and 10 have only got 12 goals between them in 30 odd games, you have to rely on goals from other areas.. but we have Cotterill on 6 and the next highest scorer is our full back with 5. Not enough contribution, goals-wise, from the rest of the team.

  • Dave Mann says:

    Randolph, caddis, Robinson, Kiernan, grounds, cotterill, Davis, shinnie, gray, Donaldson, Thomas in a 4-4-2 formation…. It’s time to start winning again and an attacking line up is the only answer!! Kro

    • StaffsBlue says:

      I do hope you’re right, but I still think he’ll stick with the 4-2-3-1 and see how things pan out before he considers switching to 4-4-2. I can’t see him changing his philosophy now, especially away from home. He may consider it against Brentford and/or Blackpool though.

  • Dave Mann says:

    He will go 4-2-3-1 as usual staffs away from home but it would be nice just for once to play two up front away and even at home for that case so though he won’t change is outlook I have changed mine 4-4-2 all the way to the end of the season but were leave it in Gary’s capable hands .. FOR NOW !! Kro

    • StaffsBlue says:

      I long to see Donaldson and Thomas in tandem Dave to see what damage they could do. They’ve hardly played togther at all this season, which I think is criminal.

    • StaffsBlue says:

      Doesn’t look too promising for our choice of 4-4-2 Dave.

      Gary Rowett: “We’ve done that towards the end of games and we’ve done that when we chased games,” said Rowett. “You always have to look at the opposition and see when you think that’s appropriate. We’re not suddenly going to go 4-4-2 every game because we finished and did okay with it.”

  • Marky mark says:

    Blues to win this one 2-1
    If we had taken our chances we would have beat Mboro, Fulham and Brighton.
    Cut out the silly mistakes, convert a couple of chances and bingo a win. KRO

  • SuperKRO says:

    Was anyone at the home Ipswich game this year ? Unfortunately I wasn’t due to work. Did they look good enough to warrant a top 4 side ?

  • steve says:

    Donaldson,Thomas,Novak all play.And Davis is back.

  • StaffsBlue says:

    It’s 4-4-2 tonight. I don’t think Rowett could have picked a better team. Looks strong. It’s up to Wes to make sure he holds on to his shirt now. The four teams above us are away too, so there’s the chance of moving up a few places.

    • Shirley Blue says:

      Not strong enough apparently. This is starting to get worrying.

      • StaffsBlue says:

        That should have been a really strong line up tonight. We seemed to be ok going forward.. missed the usual shower of chances… but the back 4 were brittle. Surely, he can’t play Spector and Robinson togther again after tonight. 10 goals conceded in the 6 games Morrison has missed.

        • Shirley Blue says:

          We bring Kiernan who is a central defender and either play him in midfield or leave him on the bench. If I was.a Brentford striker I would be quite looking forward to Saturday. Down to 17th now. Blackpool and Wigan look doomed on the plus side.

          • StaffsBlue says:

            It just goes to show though, both those teams were in the Premier League more recently than us. But, when you sell all your best players, this is what invariably happens. At least we’re not at the trap door like those yet.

  • StaffsBlue says:

    When you score 5 goals in two away games, you don’t expect to come away with zero points. Surely he has to bring in another centre back?

    • Shirley Blue says:

      Their confidence must be shot now. I guess Morrrisons injury must be more serious than originally suggested as no news on his likely return. Only 13 games left and 8 points off third from bottom. Pity we lost that game against Millwall. That home game against Blackpool next Wednesday is going to be vital.

      • StaffsBlue says:

        Colin Tattum reckons 3 weeks for Morrison. We have 4 games in that time. Who knows where we’ll be in the table by then. Time for Rowett to show his metal and sort out the defence. I’m not doubting him… yet.

  • StaffsBlue says:

    Listening to Rowett’s after-match interview again this morning…

    Colin Tattum: “David Davis with two goals, excellent return from a midfielder, that’s the sort of player you want to support the front two.”

    Gary Rowett: “Absolutely! Davo does that really well. He lands on second balls and gets into good areas. He’s got great energy. Sometimes, it would be nice to have two behind him, so he can make those runs without worrying about his defensive duties.”

    I’m wondering if it’s two defensive midfielders he’s looking to bring in… or at least, that how he’s looking to do things in future. Certainly looks like he’s sticking with 2 defensive midfielders at any rate.

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