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James Crawley

James Crawley writes

Posted Friday, March 16th 2018

Big Match Preview: Ipswich Town home

Can City produce their first season double over Ipswich Town for the first time since the 1978/79 season?

It's on the table thanks to their historic 3-1 win at Portman Road back in September.

But while the mid-table Tractor Boys head to BS3 where they haven't won for seven years, they remain only a potential three wins from the play-offs.

For City, a win on Saturday could see them jump back into the top-six mix, which looks to be as tight as ever as the season draws to a close.

FACTFILE

Formed: 1878
Nickname: The Tractor Boys
Website: www.itfc.co.uk
Twitter: Official_ITFC
Ground: Portman Road
Capacity: 30,311

Honours
Football League Champions
1961/62
Football League First Division 1999/2000
Football League Second Division 1960/61, 1967/68, 1991/92
FA Cup 1977/78
UEFA Cup 1980/81

Last season
League finish:
16th
FA Cup: Third round, lost to Lincoln City
EFL Cup: First round, lost to Stevenage
Top scorer: Tom Lawrence, nine goals
Average attendance: 16,981

HOW DID THEY GET HERE?

The Tractor Boys endured a frustrating season last term, finishing a place ahead of City in 16th, just four points above the dreaded drop.

Despite some fans making their feelings known, the Town board stuck by their experienced boss Mick McCarthy, whose side have been fluttering around mid-table in the current campaign. That being said, the points gap between a play-off spot and the middle of the pack is only nine points.

The Suffolk side have struggled for consistency despite a strong start to the season, which included a five-game unbeaten run. A Carabao Cup defeat at Crystal Palace triggered a dip in form and while three games without defeat has been the best run they have been able to conjure up since, they still remain only a glance over City’s shoulders.

A man of experience: Mick McCarthy

MEET THE GAFFER – MICK McCARTHY

Barnsley-born McCarthy was a defender in his playing days, which included spells with the Tykes, Manchester City, Celtic, Lyon and Millwall. He was also capped at international level, opting to play for the Republic of Ireland – who he would later manage – due to his Irish roots.

He turned his managerial hand to Millwall in 1992 and four years later he took over as manager of the Green Army, steering them to the last 16 of the 2002 World Cup, where Spain struck in extra time to win 3-2.

He tasted promotion success with Sunderland and went on to lift the Championship trophy with Wolves. After keeping them in the Premier League, the 2011/12 season was a rough ride and he was sacked by February.

He took over at Ipswich Town in 2012 where he has taken charge of more than 270 games, surpassing his record at Wolves.

Can City stop Martyn Waghorn from adding to his tally?

STAR MAN – MARTYN WAGHORN

Waghorn left Rangers to move south of the border in the summer, penning a two-year deal at Portman Road.

And he's enjoying life in Suffolk, with 12 goals to his name as well as eight assists too!

Waghorn began his career at Sunderland, before enjoying spells at Leicester City and Wigan Athletic. 

He joined Rangers in 2015 and scored 44 goals in all competitions, helping the Gers to the Scottish Championship title in 2016. 

His vision, ability on the ball and eye for goals makes him a real threat, and he will certainly be a key figure in Ipswich’s side as they remain a short distance from the play-offs themselves.

Jon Stead's strike in the 2012/13 season clinched a late win at the Gate

MEMORABLE MEETING - JANUARY 26th 2013

Bristol City 2-1 Ipswich Town

Former Ipswich striker Jon Stead was the hero at Ashton Gate as Sean O’Driscoll’s first home game in charge of City ended in an unlikely last-gasp victory.

The striker, who came on only 11 minutes from time, returned to haunt his former employers with a 90th minute winner after the visitors pressed hard for the killer goal themselves.

The Tractor Boys had taken the lead on 30 minutes through Daryl Murphy and might have doubled the advantage before Steven Davies struck shortly after the interval to level the scores.

City: Heaton, Carey, Moloney, Fontaine, Cunningham, Anderson, Kelly, Kilkenny (Elliott 82), Skuse, Baldock, (Stead 79), Taylor (Davies 15). Subs not used: Gerken, Foster, Wilson, Pearson.

Ipswich: Loach, Chambers, Smith, Edwards, Orr, Cresswell, Hyam, Martin, N’Daw, McGoldrick, Murphy (McClean 82). Subs not used: Lee Barrett, Hewitt, Kisnorbo, Drury, Chopra, Nouble.

AND FINALLY...

Officials
Darren England
Matt Foley and Geoffrey Russell
Fourth Official: Brendan Malone

Betting (via SkyBet)
City 8/11
Draw 13/5
Ipswich 19/5

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