Town's Game In Hand Could Not Be Harder
In about three minutes Town take on Derby County at the Pride Park Stadium, in a game which is of great significance to both clubs.
For high flying Derby County, it is the chance to consolidate their place in the top six, whilst for the Tractor Boys, there is an opportunity to claw back some points on those above us, with this game in hand on most of our rivals.
As expected, Jordan Spence returns to right wing back in place of Dominic Iorfa, and Emyr Huws starts his first game of the season; along with Grant Ward, Cole Skuse and Callum Connelly, again making up the midfield quartet.
This may be Town's game in hand but it could not be much harder and the situation has been exacerbated by the absence of Joe Garner through injury, which means that Martyn Waghorn starts in a central attacking role with Bersant Celina in close attendance.
Derby are unchanged for the third game running and former Blues loanee Tom Lawrence is starting alongside Town nemesis David Nugent and hat-trick hero from the last match at Middlesborough Matej Vydra, who is clearly on fire at the moment.
Town have won six of their last nine league trips to Derby, drawing the other three since losing 2-1 in November 2006.
That is the good news. The bad news is that we are playing a side who currently occupy sixth place in the Championship table and this team has won three of their past five league games against Town, which is as many as they'd won in their previous 18 against the Blues so this is cause for real concern.
But let us forget Tom Lawrence and even David Nugent (if we can) for the moment, because their man danger man just now is Matej Vydra, who has scored seven goals in his past six appearances in the Championship for The Rams, including that impressive hat-trick on Saturday afternoon.
I think if we can somehow sneak a draw we are doing extraordinarily well and I would take that any day of the week.
On the bench Town have their young guns in Flynn Downes, Tristan Nydam, Teddy Bishop and Ben Morris but whether they will ever see the light of day in this one, will depend largely on how well we are doing - or otherwise, with twenty minutes to spare?
Derby: Carson, Forsyth, Keogh, Lawrence, Baird, Weimann, Vydra, Nugent, Davies, Ledley, Huddlestone. Subs not used: Mitchell, Russell, Martin, Wisdom, Pearce, Olsson, Thorne.
Ipswich Town: Bialkowski, Spence, Chambers, Webster, Knudsen, Huws, Connolly, Skuse, Ward, Waghorn, Celina. Subs not used: Gerken, Iorfa, Bishop, Sears, Downes, Nydam, Morris.
Frank Weston - Editor of Vital Ipswich