There’s just no respite from match previews at the moment is there? The games are coming thick and fast, so no sooner had we basked in the excitement of the Derby match did we have to endure the less glamourous performance against Barnsley. The Reds take to the road to face Roy Keane’s Ipswich side in what feels like our first away game in ages!
Ipswich have just played out a draw with Coventry having had their prior two games against Watford and Doncaster called off due to frozen pitches, In personnel terms Zuiverloon has returned to West Brom, and they have an injured duo in Brian Murphy and Shane O’Connor. They might also have half an eye on an FA Cup trip to Chelsea the week after our visit…
There’s been a reasonable amount of talk of Roy Keane’s job being precarious, and casting an eye on their run of results it’s understandable why in this trigger-happy age of football. They have only won one of their last six league games – at home against Leicester, and lost four of them. Indeed, their recent league results are a sea of losses with the occasional win – and of course today’s draw against the Sky Blues.
They are moderately better at home than away lately, but it’s pretty difficult to discern any real pattern to their results. Of course, we can reflect on the fact we beat them at the City Ground back in October, and it was a pretty comfortable afternoon for the Reds, winning 2-0 with a goal for McGoldrick and that spectacular 35-odd yard free-kick by Lewis McGugan.
Of course, a lot of water under the bridge since then – and we’ve got one more game under our belt in the last few days. Certainly Billy will be eager to get them performing more like against Derby than this afternoon’s slightly less (slightly? ha!) impressive showing against Barnsley today. With no fresh injury concerns, the usual questions of what to do about left-back and midfield will be those that he surprises us with.
Personally I’d be inclined to use Wilson at left back – rumours suggest he’s going to Celtic on a free in the summer, so if we’re not cashing in we should utilise him when needed. He looked more comfortable than Cohen against Derby, and the midfielder looked out of sorts against Barnsley too. I like Chrissy, but he’s not a fullback – neither is Kelv, but he has a bit more pace to get him out of trouble.
I’m not sure whether Ramsey is eligible for this game or not before his return to Arsenal, it’s been a short cameo from the Welsh midfielder but an appreciated one. Such a pity that Diaby picked up an injury, both for himself – of course – but also because it cuts short any possibility of an extension to his loan. Echoes of Bale last season!
With Ipswich being absolutely impossible to predict and the Reds putting in two such contrasting performances in their last two games this really is the game that could go any way. The Tractor Boys are on what has to be considered a poor run of form and they certainly won’t be happy to be merely hovering above the relegation zone, whilst the Reds still lurk just outside the play-offs.
It’s got draw written all over it hasn’t it? It would be nice to get our first double of the season sorted though, wouldn’t it?
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