Can we maintain our away form and get back to winning ways after our disasters at home against QPR and Preston? We are currently in 9th place and three points away from 6th placed club Ipswich, the team we play tomorrow at Portman Road. Lets hope we can deliver a Suffolk Punch and come away with all three points to get back on track especially with two festive home games to follow.
We know that Gudjonsson and McCann wont be available for selection after their red cards against Preston last Saturday.
There is also a slight doubt over Alan Mahon, who played in our last match after supposedly recovering from a slight hamstring injury. He is reported to have a thigh injury. So all the problems appear to be in midfield and we can probably expect James O’ Connor to start in this match with John Spicer. Garreth O’Connor might also get a chance to feature, although probably from the bench if at all.
The back four with the return of Jordan could well be the same as per the Preston match although club captain, Caldwell could be available for selection and he played in a midweek friendly against Bolton.
Clarke Carlisle is still understood to be sidelined with a hamstring injury
A possible sixteen therefore could be as follows:
Kiraly, Alexander, Jordan, Unsworth, Harley, James O’Connor, Elliott, Spicer, Lafferty, Gray, Blake
Subs: Jensen, Garreth O’Connor, Jones, Akinbiyi, Caldwell
Another possibility if Caldwell is fit to play, would be to select him for the back four and move Alexander to the midfield role he had under Cotterill for a few matches.
Despite the suspensions and injuries we still seem to have a number of options.
The gaffer has this to say about the match:
‘Ipswich will be big favourites and rightly so with their track record, but we have shown before that we can create what people term as a shock.I have to say it won’t be a shock to me, so we will go there positive and see what we can achieve.’
Ipswich Town Team News:
Veteran stalwart midfielder Sylvain Legwinski has an ankle injury and wont be available.
Owen Garvan and Gavin Williams look set to continue in midfield.
Tommy Miller has still not fully recovered from a virus so could be named on the bench again.
Player to watch: Alan Lee
A continual thorn in our side and seems to have the knack of always scoring against his former club. Snuff him out lads!
Burnley Team News:
Gudjonsson and McCann suspended. Some doubts over Alan Mahon being fit but Steve Caldwell may feature after paying in a midweek friendly.
Player to watch: Andy Gray
A little underpar recently and not scoring. We need to see a reverse today so lets hope he can rediscover his scoring habit and deliver that Suffolk Punch
Last Time We Met
We last played Ipswich at Turf Moor back in October. Two quick goals by Ipswich in first nine minutes but then Gray and Lafferty goals earned a point in a 2-2 draw.
Last season at Portman Road back in December 2006, we managed to get an away draw but it could so easily have been three points but for a last gasp equaliser after Lafferty had put the Clarets 1-0 up.
Law of averages suggests we cant keep up this phenomenal sequence of away wins so I am going with a 1-1 draw
The hectic Christmas period continues with two home games coming up in quick succession-Sheffield Wednesday on Boxing Day Wednesday 26th December and then Bristol City, three days later on Saturday 29th December