April 26, 2013 by Gabriel Sutton
After the win against Leeds has mathematically guaranteed our safety, which wasn’t really in much doubt over the past few weeks, we’ve now got a similarly relaxed end-of-season game against Ipswich, in which pride will be as much at stake as points. I foresee a match of a serene, slow tempo, in which both teams will look to experiment both tactically and in terms of how players approach the game, without the added pressure of a desperate need for a result.
Ipswich this season
Since the turn of the year, Mick McCarthy has played a rigid 4-4-2 in every match, and it seems to have paid off for him to some extent, with a big improvement in form and such a good defensive record. However, if you were to sum up Ipswich’s problems in one word, it would be: goals. They’ve got the lowest goalscoring rate in the Championship, and no team outside a relegation zone in the entire football league have got a worse ‘goals for’ record than them. Their top scorer, DJ Campbell, no longer players for them leaving their top available scorer with just 6 goals this season. All this, and yet they’re still in very little danger of going down!
Ipswich: Loach; Cresswell, Chambers, Stearman, Smith; Edwards, N’Daw, Hyam, Tabb; Murphy, Nouble
Blues: Butland; Caddis, Davies, Robinson, Hancox; Redmond, Mullins, Morrison, Elliott, Ferguson; Zigic
With a solid duo of experience in Elliott and Mullins deep in the centre – who performed well in that role against Leeds – we have a grounding from which we can build our attacks. It gives our younger, more creative midfielders the licence to roam forward and cause problems. An interesting battle could be on our right side, with both Jay Tabb and Nathan Redmond quite attack-minded midfielders.
We’re two teams in similar positions, having been worried about the drop for large spells of the season, but recent form has carried us well away from the relegation dogfight. Because of this, there’s not much separating between the teams, so I reckon the best bet is definitely a draw. I’ll say 1-1.