Town aim to end winless run with the visit of Accrington Stanley
Ipswich Town head into Saturday’s clash with Accrington Stanley looking to end a winless league run that stretches back until 5th November. In fact, Town are without a win in 12 outings now in all competitions within the regulation 90 minutes.
Portman Road is certainly far from being a fortress this season, with Town only claiming 14 points out of a possible 30. The last time Town won in front of their own supporters was on the 28th September, beating Tranmere Rovers 4-1. Only Tranmere, Rochdale and Southend have picked up less points on home soil so far this season.
Town head into the game in fifth place, three points behind second placed Rotherham United and six points behind league leaders Wycombe Wanderers. Rather worryingly there is only a three point gap separating Town and tenth placed Portsmouth. With visits to Oxford, Rotherham and Sunderland on the horizon, Town need to find their rhythm again, and quickly!
Despite conceding two last week at Exeter in the Leasing.com Trophy, Tomas Holy should keep his place in goal ahead of the on-loan Will Norris. Norris has been at fault for two goals in as many matches, rushing off his line and being lobbed at both Lincoln City and Wycombe Wanderers.
Lambert looks set to keep with the 3-5-2 system which will see Luke Woolfenden, James Wilson and Luke Chambers start in defence. The only other option at the back would be Cole Skuse after Toto Nsiala completed his loan move to Bolton on Friday.
Janoi Donacien (dead leg) looks unlikely to be risked against his former club, which will allow Gwion Edwards to continue as right wing-back. Luke Garbutt will operate on the left, even though Myles Kenlock impressed at St James Park last week.
Flynn Downes will start in one of the two holding midfield roles, probably paired with Cole Skuse. That perhaps would be harsh on Emyr Huws who played well at Adams Park on New Year’s Day. Andre Dozzell is likely to join Huws on the bench but Jon Nolan appears set to miss out with a heel problem.
Alan Judge is set to start in his preferred number 10 role after a strong display at Wycombe. Lambert will have a decision upfront with Will Keane scoring again at Exeter, taking his season tally to 5. But, Keane may have to settle for a place on the bench with James Norwood partnering former Stanly striker Kayden Jackson in attack.
Teddy Bishop and Freddie Sears are likely to be amongst the subs after both starting for the first time this season at Exeter last weekend.
The reserve fixture at The Wham Stadium saw the end of Town’s unbeaten start to the campaign. A Colby Bishop double in the first half was enough to earn Stanley the win. The first was a header deep at the back-post, towering over Gwion Edwards in the 17th minute. Just before half-time, Nsiala then gifted Bishop the chance to double his lead, after the Town defender pushed an Accrington forward in the box. In the 80th minute, Armando Dobra and Ross Sykes were red-carded for an off-the-ball clash.
The only other previous meeting saw Accrington knock Town out of The FA Cup R3 1-0 in January 2019.
Man in the Middle
Saturday’s referee is Charles Breakspear, who has shown 94 yellow cards and 11 red in 21 games so far this season.
The last Town game he refereed was back in August 2016, when Stevenage won 1-0 at Portman Road in the Carabao Cup in which he booked Tommy Smith and two Stevenage players.