Big Match Preview – Colchester (A)
As it stands: Ipswich 15-10-3-2(1st, 33pts, GD 15) | Colchester 17-7-5-5 (8th, 26pts, GD 6) Current form: Ipswich DWWLL | Colchester LWWWD
Last time out: Ipswich 1 – 1 Lincoln | Colchester 0 – 2 Coventry
Head-to-head: P14|Ipswich W10| Colchester W4 | D4
Previous meeting: Ipswich 2 – 1 Colchester Carling Cup R2| 26th August 2008
Town head to into their final Leasing.com group match against Colchester already qualified for the knockout stages.
Town have previously beaten both Spurs U21s and Gillingham at Portman Road and by avoiding defeat at Colchester will ensure a home time in the round of 32 against a runner up in another Southern based group.
If Colchester beat Ipswich they will overtake Paul Lambert’s men as group winners meaning Town will then face a group winner from the same section of the draw. Remember a draw will result in a penalty shootout with the eventual winners gaining a bonus point.
Town are set to be backed by at least 2,600 travelling Town supporters. That figure is unlikely to be matched by the home support which could provide a rather unusual atmosphere at the JobServe Community Stadium this evening.
Last Time Out
1 – 1 draw against Lincoln (FA Cup R1)
Town made ten changes to the team that beat Rochdale in the league with goalkeeper Will Norris keeping his place. The Town faithful were hoping to see a stronger team with perhaps the team named being named more suitable for this game at Colchester.
The system was more of a 4-4-2 with Andre Dozzell operating as a right midfielder with Armando Dobra supporting Will Keane upfront. With Town second best and 1-0 down at the break, Lambert opted to the 4-2-3-1 formation which provided the platform to a route back into the match.
2-0 defeat at home v Coventry (FA Cup R1)
John McGreal named the a unchanged starting line-up but made two alterations on the bench. Coventry dominated the match against The U’s with John McGreal praising The Sky Blues admitting they were fully deserving of their 2-0 win.
Focus on Colchester
Last season: 8th in League Two (70 points)
Manager: John McGreal (appointed May 2016)
Top scorer: Luke Norris (ST) – 5
Most Assists: Frank Nouble / Kwame Poku – 3
STAR PLAYER: Frank Nouble (ST)
The former Town man has been in fine form for Colchester this season. The powerful forward has scored and assisted three goals and has been a key man in the success Colchester have enjoyed so far this campaign.
Paul Lambert has confirmed that some youngsters could be in line to get some minutes this evening. Previously, Tommy Hughes and Tyreece Simpson have been been given cameo substitute appearances.
Tomas Holy looks set to return in goal behind what could be the same back four that took the field against Lincoln on Saturday.
Idris El Mizouni looks set to start and could replace Andre Dozzell who along with Flynn Downes is now away with England U20s.
With Downes unavailable, Jon Nolan could be handed a start alongside Emyr Huws, although the Welshman may be rested after playing the 90 minutes against Lincoln on Saturday.
Danny Rowe and Gwion Edwards will be in contention to replace Armando Dobra who is away with Albania U19s, with Anthony Georgiou set to keep his place on the left.
Will Keane will be handed the lone striking role if deemed fit, if Lambert wants to rotate Keane his only other options would be James Norwood or Kayden Jackson.
Paul Lambert says some of the Town youngsters will be given a first-team opportunity in the final Leasing.com Trophy group case just as he did in the previous games.
“There will be changes. Some of the younger lads will play. I’ve got to see what they can do in front of a crowd,” the Town boss told the Club website.
“It’s good for the Club to see some of the younger lads get a chance. They are training with us so I have confidence in them.
“We will have a big support there as well so it’s good for the fans to have the chance to see some of the younger lads.”
Former Town defender and now U’s boss John McGreal, has called on his supporters to get behind the team and is hoping for a big atmosphere under the lights at the JobServe Community Stadium.
“By all accounts, Ipswich have already sold over 2,000 for the away end. They’re coming fully-loaded, which shows the terrific support they’ve got.” McGreal told the Colchester Gazette.
“But hopefully, despite our disappointing performance at the weekend, our fans will stick with us and get behind us because we need their support.
“We’d love our supporters, their family and friends, to come along so we’re not outnumbered here at home.”
Man in the Middle
Tonight’s referee is Sam Purkiss, refereeing both sides for the first time. Perkiss has shown 40 yellow cards and no red in 12 games so far this season.