Sammy Says: Gillingham Preview

Sammy looks ahead to tomorrow’s clash between Town and Gillingham.

Gillingham vs Ipswich Town

Match Preview

Saturday 21st September @ 15:00

Overview

Town head into a weekend fixture against Gillingham Town in a League One fixture at the Priestfield Stadium. They will be looking maintain their impressive start to the season as they currently remain unbeaten and 2nd in the table. Gillingham will be hoping that home advantage can help them to move up the table after an average start to the campaign with 2 wins, 4 draws and 2 defeats.

Previous Fixture

Gillingham – 1-1 (Bristol Rovers, A)

Gillingham played out a very even game against Bristol Rovers on Tuesday night that saw both teams take a point each at the end of a 1-1 draw. They did have to score a late goal to earn the point but on the balance that seems to have been a fair result courtesy of the 83rd minute goal from O’Connor. It seemed like a fair representation of their fortunes so far this season, with a solid defence but not scoring too many goals to turn their draws into victories.

Ipswich Town – 0-1 (MK Dons, A)

Ipswich ran out 1-0 winners in a mixed performance against Milton Keynes at Stadium:MK in midweek due to a Jon Nolan goal. The Blues dominated the first half and should have been ahead by 2 or 3 goals at least. However, they failed to make their superiority count for much and had to survive a second half improvement from MK Dons that saw Holy and the Town backline remain resolute and keeping their 4th clean sheet in a row.

Key Player

Gillingham – Alex Jakubiak (ST)

The loan signing from Watford has started well in his new home at Gillingham with 4 goals and 1 assist so far in the current League One campaign. His ability to score goals should prove to one of the biggest tests the Blues’ backline has faced since the free-scoring partnership of Toney and Eisa at Peterborough United. If anyone is going to break the recent run of clean sheets for Ipswich, then Jakubiak looks like the one to do it on Saturday.

Ipswich Town – Kane Vincent-Young (RB)

The summer signing from Colchester United has proven to be a real attacking threat for the Blues and has also shown solidity and ability in defence when required in his Right Back role. With direct running, dribbling and an eye for a cross or pass, I think that Vincent-Young may prove to be vital in turning defence into attack when playing away from home in this fixture. If the Blues are to win the game, then it may be his counterattacking flair that could help Ipswich to break the deadlock.

Tactics

Gillingham – 4-3-3

Gillingham have been lining up in a 4-3-3 formation for the start of the season and look likely to continue with this tactic at the weekend. Top goal scorer Jakubiak will be in the front 3 of the team whilst former Blue Ben Pringle could come into the side after having been on the bench at Bristol Rovers in midweek. It will be interesting to see how the midfield battle is coordinated with Skuse and Downes struggling when outnumbered against Doncaster last Saturday.

Ipswich Town – Tinker?

Lambert has continued to rotate his squad during the start of the season, changing his centre backs and wingers most regularly. This looks like the area he will look to alter once again, with Woolfenden likely to come back into the heart of the Town defence. Elsewhere, Judge could come back into the starting XI and Georgiou is pushing for his first start for the Blues since arriving from Tottenham on loan. Norwood and Jackson should both be fine to start with Norwood overcoming a slight groin injury after the win at MK Dons on Tuesday.

Managers

Steve Evans – Tough Game

Evans is expecting a very tough fixture when Ipswich come to the Priestfield Stadium for the 3pm weekend kick off. “They will get promoted to the Championship again,” said Evans. “You can’t have 32 outstanding first-team players in the squad and not have enough options.” However, he remains positive going into the game with his side unbeaten in their last four games. He stated that “hopefully we will give Ipswich a good account of ourselves but we are not kidding ourselves, we know it will be tough.”

Paul Lambert – Defensive Praise

Lambert singled out particular praise for his backline after recording their 4th clean sheet in a row on Tuesday night. He sees the addition of Kane Vincent-Young as “a massive weapon for us, his speed and the way he gets up and down that side.” He went on to say that the right back adds “another dimension to the game” for the Blues. James Wilson also came in for praise from the Town manager who thinks that the centre back had his best game for Ipswich in the 1-0 win against MK Dons. It will be interesting to see if he has done enough to stay in the XI with Woolfenden pushing for a recall.

Fanbase Mood

Gillingham – Like an Away Game

Gillingham fans have shared the same outlook as their manager heading into the match against Ipswich, saying that is going to be a very tough game. One fan said that “It’s also going to be like an away game, Ipswich sold out the 2,100 they were allocated for the away end early last week,” and added “Its a tough match tomorrow against probably the best team in the Division as they have the best manager in the league by some distance.” Many fans are not expecting anything more than a possible draw but confidence should be drawn from their recent form and the 2-0 victory against then league leaders Wycombe last weekend.

Ipswich Town – We have our club back!

The brilliant start to the season has seen the Town faithful feel closer to the club and its’ players more than any recent season in memory. After the boring and poor end to McCarthy’s reign many fans felt disconnected and disillusioned with Ipswich Town Football Club. However, thanks to the hard work of Lambert and his staff and off field decisions, such as reinstating the Community Trust, has seen everyone singing from the same hymn sheet this time around. That is evidenced by the continuous support both home and away in the League.

Prediction

It is an interesting match up this weekend as the Blues head to a team that are in midtable of the league but are unbeaten in their last four fixtures. I do believe that Town will have the better of the play and will be hoping that they can avoid a difficult spell like they had against Milton Keynes on Tuesday night. I do think that Ipswich will finally lose their clean sheets record but will also be able to score at least a couple of goals themselves to take all three points.

3-1 Town.

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