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'Cupset Week? Not A Chance!'

'Cupset Week? Not A Chance!'

It's a big week at Ipswich Town; managerial musical chairs aside, the Blues have been facing the prospect of two massive cup matches against Chelsea and Arsenal - and before Sunday's game at Stamford Bridge, Vital Ipswich decided to ask you for your predictions.

Despite struggling in the Championship, Ipswich are playing 'pretend Premier League' in the cups, taking on two of the biggest teams in the country. Sunday's FA Cup Third Round tie at Chelsea is followed by Wednesday's Carling Cup semi-final home leg against Arsenal, giving the Blues' fixture list a rather glamorous if challenging look. That challenge was made all the tougher last week when Roy Keane was sacked on Friday morning, leaving Town facing both matches without a manager.

Ahead of the Chelsea game, we asked you whether you thought Ipswich could win both of these big cup games. Here's how you responded:

21% - Chelsea yes, Arsenal no
8% - Arsenal yes, Chelsea no
16% - We can beat both
55% - We can't beat either

Click here to suggest your own poll for the site!

Surely even the most pessimistic Ipswich Town fan didn't see us getting pulverised 7-0 by Chelsea on Sunday, but confidence was certainly not high before that game. Over half of those who responded thought that we would not be able to beat either Chelsea or Arsenal - no surprise given that the team wasn't capable of beating Nottingham Forest at home the week before!

Optimism probably dropped even further after Keane was sacked, throwing Town's preparations for the two games into a state of chaos and dropping Ian McParland in at the deep end. Question marks have consequently emerged over the timing of Keane's dismissal - and indeed, since Sunday, whether we would have done any better at Stamford Bridge with the Irishman still in charge.

The result at Chelsea probably doesn't bode well given that more fans seemed confident of a result at Stamford Bridge than victory over Arsenal. 21% thought that Ipswich could muster an upset against Carlo Ancelotti's team, but only 8% thought that we could win in the semi-final against the Gunners - and that was before we got hammered!

We know now that the 16% who predicted a win against both Chelsea and Arsenal have been left disappointed. However, with new manager Paul Jewell not set to take over until Thursday, whether McParland can inspire the mother of all rebounds against Arsenal on Wednesday has yet to be seen.

(Poor old Charlie - he probably still doesn't know what's hit him!)

This week's poll: 'Are you happy with the appointment of Paul Jewell?' (See right-hand column to place your vote)

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Writer:Darren C
Date:Tuesday January 11 2011
Time: 2:03PM


I'm coming to Portman Road tomorrow, I think it'll be a lot tougher for us than Chelsea. Home form can play a huge role, and whilst I don't know your squad that well, if they are made of stern stuff then they won't let what happened at Chelsea happen tomorrow. The appointment of Jewell should give the players a lift too. How come he doesn't take over til Thursday?
11/01/2011 14:43:00
Hi there Chipo - thanks for your views. I think the reason given for the delay in Jewell taking over was essentially because it would be another distraction for the players in the run up to this game. Personally I think that's unavoidable; there's a lot going on, and I would rather see Jewell have a go against Arsenal for his first game than to 'make do' under McParland for another massive game. In any case, I'm keeping my fingers crossed that we don't capitulate like we did at Chelsea. You're right, it should be tougher for your boys on Wednesday than it was for Ancelotti's lot on Sunday, but then again our home form has been just as dreadful as away. The key is who gets the first goal; if it's us, we might have a chance. You score and our heads will probably drop. Have a good trip anyway - though the lack of legroom might come as a bit of a shock to you! I'm coming to the leg at the Emirates myself so here's hoping there's still something to play for by then...!
Darren C
11/01/2011 20:14:00
Ipswich 1-0 Arsenal... hmmm... were we being just a bit TOO realistic? Heh!
Darren C
12/01/2011 22:17:00
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