The first of two East Anglian derby's takes place at Portman Road in the Championship play-offs on Saturday afternoon.
To be played on Saturday 9th May 2015 at 12:15. Venue: Portman Road, Ipswich
Odds: Ipswich 21/10, Draw 23/10, Norwich 7/5
This fixture doesn’t require any added promotion, but throwing it into the play-offs makes it even more important to two sets of fans now dreaming of Premier League football.
Norwich are looking for an instant return to the Premier League and only narrowly missed out on automatic spot at the first time of asking, falling just short of that mark.
The Tractor Boys booked their place in the play-offs on goal difference thanks to Reading’s 3-0 win over Derby County on the final weekend, meaning they weren’t made to pay for their indifferent performance that saw them lose 3-2 against Blackburn Rovers.
The home side have suffered a poor run of form lately - only winning three of their last six games, losing two and drawing one during their run-in to the play-off campaign.
The goals of Daryl Murphy have kept Ipswich in contention during that sticky spell, although Freddie Sears has also contributed to their success, with the January signing from Colchester United pitching in with important goals when Murphy has struggled.
The Canaries come into this game as the clear favourites and have enjoyed a period of domination over their rivals, beating them twice this season, with the most recent win coming at the beginning of March when a Bradley Johnson goal was enough to separate the sides.
You have to go back to April 2009 for the last time Ipswich beat Norwich, and that could play on the minds of Town fans who haven’t seen their side put in a good performance in the fixture since then.
Ipswich have the benefit of the experienced Mick McCarthy at their helm, although both of his previous promotions have come as champions and not through the play-offs, while Alex Neil will go through his first play-off campaign in England.
David McGoldrick and Luke Hyam are the only absentees for McCarthy, while back-up goalkeeper Dean Gerken has a slight knock, but is expected to be fit for the game.
Neil will be without Lewis Grabban, who is suspended, but Cameron Jerome and Steven Whittaker are likely to be fit for the clash alongside Alexander Tettey, who is winning his battle with injury.
- Bartosz Bialkowski
- Christophe Berra
- Luke Chambers
- Tyrone Mings
- Jonathan Parr
- Tommy Smith
- Cole Skuse
- Jay Tabb
- Teddy Bishop
- Daryl Murphy
- Freddie Sears
“Past results, past performances don’t really count. We lost to Reading twice, it doesn’t matter really, does it? Wigan came here and drew against us, you could go through the teams that we’ve dropped points to - Huddersfield slapped us up there and where are they? They’re all on their holidays and we’re in the play-offs.”
- John Ruddy
- Sebastien Bassong
- Russell Martin
- Martin Olsson
- Steven Whittaker
- Graham Dorrans
- Wes Hoolahan
- Bradley Johnson
- Jonny Howson
- Nathan Redmond
- Gary Hooper
“Every game we have played so far we have been favourites, we have the bigger squad, the better squad and so on. That is fine. At the end of the day, none of that matters. I hope everyone is right and I do have the best squad and that they go and perform. It doesn’t concern me if people want to talk about our squad and how much it is supposed to have cost. If we win, then ultimately none of that matters. If we lose, then you might hear it talked about.”