Ipswich v Norwich – Portman Road at 12:00 live on Sky Sports 2
It’s time for the highly anticipated Old Farm derby to take place once again in the Championship with recently relegated Norwich City traveling to Portman Road to take on Ipswich Town at noon on Sunday.
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Heading into this derby and the hosts haven’t had the greatest of starts to their Championship season, picking up four points from a possible six, dropping out of the EFL Cup and sitting 12th in the EFL table. Mick McCarthy’s last match finishing in a 0-0 draw away to his old club Wolves; the visitors dominating possession and having the better chances on goal, yet were unable to convert.
Last season the Tractor Boys finished seventh in the table, just outside the promotion spots. While this season it doesn’t look like they have the squad that will cause many problems among the promotion contenders and may need to look at building for the next campaign.
In the transfer window and McCarthy has seen seven of his players leave on free transfers, including centre-midfielder Jay Tabb, while, in the other direction, he has required the services of Grant Ward and Adsam Webster for a combined total of £1.4 million.
Key players for this side are strikers Brett Pitman and Daryl Murphy who both contributed ten goals last season, while in the season previous to that Murphy helped his side by netting 27 times before they were knocked out in the play-offs.
There looks to be no injuries for the hosts, and no suspensions so this is good news heading into a key derby fixture with McCarthy having a fully fit squad.
Alex Neil’s Norwich, meanwhile, need to rebuild after falling out of the Premier League, and so far it has gone well. The Canaries sit second in the Championship on seven points and remain unbeaten after three matches with their last game finishing in a 1-0 win at home to Bristol City on Tuesday night; Jonny Howson scoring the only goal.
It has been a tough window for Alex Neil, considering they lost the services of tricky winger Nathan Redmond to Southampton and four players on free transfers, but Norwich have bagged the services of Alex Pritchard from Tottenham and Sergi Canos from Liverpool for a combined fee of £9 million.
Two playmakers who could make a real difference in the Championship, considering last season Wes Hoolahan and Redmond were the only two players capable of making a chance for the Canaries and the creative factor is what they lacked.
Two players sit out injured for Norwich including Alexander Tettey who could play a pivotal role in Neil’s season breaking up play and supporting the attack, while there are no suspensions.
One thing to consider, however, is that the Canaries’ away form hasn’t been great with them only winning two of their last ten matches following on from last season, something that needs improving especially in this league.
The last time these two sides met Norwich won 3-1 with Christophe Berra being shown a straight red card. In fact, Norwich sit six games unbeaten against their opponents and the last time Ipswich won against their rivals at Portman Road was back in 2009.
This has a Norwich win written all of it if you’re asking me. The talent on show is there to see, and they look to be in top form, while Ipswich have been struggling to find points early on in the campaign.
Asian Handicap Betting Recommendation: Norwich -0.25 @ 1.93 with Pinnacle
Prices correct at time of writing.