PREVIEW: Ipswich Town -v- Wednesday

PREVIEW: Ipswich Town -v- Wednesday

Wednesday head to Ipswich knowing that a win will secure another play-off berth.

The Owls have enjoyed a terrific April, winning five consecutive games, and now sit five points ahead of seventh placed Leeds with just two games to play.

By making it seven wins in a row, Wednesday would achieve a club-record points total in a twenty-four team division at this level.

The first obstacle to that unlikely achievement is Mick McCarthy’s Ipswich Town: a side who have won four and drawn four of their last eight meetings with The Owls.

In fact, the Barnsley native has enjoyed a run of thirteen unbeaten games against Wednesday with Ipswich and Wolves.

Jinxes are there to be broken, however, as Carlos Carvalhal’s boys have discovered in recent weeks.

 

 

Last game Opposition Result Shots On target Corners Cards Fouls Possession
WEDNESDAY Derby (H) W 2-1 13 2 2 1 5 51%
CARDIFF Bristol C (A) L 1-2 10 5 7 1 12 55%

 

Wednesday overcame the Derby hoodoo after coming from behind to win at Hillsborough.

After a lifeless first half, The Rams looked to catch Wednesday cold at the start of the second period.

Darren Bent was put clean through beyond a failed offside trap only for Kieren Westwood to smartly cover his attempted dink.

The same player would not be stopped from the resulting corner, however, after he capitalised on some questionable defensive organisation.

It could have been two for Rowett’s side as Will Hughes danced through the Wednesday defence, only for Glenn Loovens to deny him on the goal line.

The run continues

A quick tactical change threw the visitors. Kieran Lee – so good to have him back, by the way – went off for Rhodes as Carvalhal sent three forwards for Derby.

It paid off: Steven Fletcher struck the bar with a header, before turning home a clever headed set-up from Gary Hooper.

Provider turned goalscorer just six minutes later after Scott Carson flapped at a seemingly wasted cross from the left flank.

Wednesday held on pretty comfortably in the end to ensure it would be five wins in a row for the first time in ten years.

Ipswich made nine changes for their trip to Rotherham and looked understandably disjointed in a 1-0 defeat.

McCarthy was still rightly annoyed with his players who could not score against a team with two league clean sheets to date.

The former Republic of Ireland manager has indicated that he will return to a full-strength side for The Tractor Boy’s final home fixture of a tepid season.

 

 

LAST 5 Derby (H) QPR (A) Cardiff (H) Newcastle (H) Rotherham (A)
WEDNESDAY W 2-1 W 2-1 W 1-0 W 2-1 W 2-0

 

Rotherham (A) Newcastle (H) Burton (A) Fulham (A) Wigan (H)
IPSWICH L 0-1 W 3-1 W 2-1 L 1-3 W 3-1

 

 

Ipswich are unbeaten in their last seven games at home and will be tough to break down.

Their problems this season have come at the other end of the pitch, scoring just 30 goals in 22 games on their own turf.

Wednesday have kept fifteen clean sheets so far this season, and can tie with the club record for the third consecutive campaign by registering two more shutouts.

Their defeat to Rotherham aside, Ipswich are in pretty fine nick right now, registering an impressive home win against Newcastle and another three points at the Pirelli.

Can Wednesday make it six on the spin?

 

The run has seen Town comfortably safe, and with nine changes made last weekend, it is abundantly clear that McCarthy is already assessing his options for next season.

Should he stay, that is.

Should he go, and Wednesday stay in the second flight, Carlos Carvalhal will be second only to Simon Grayson in the list of the division’s longest-serving coaches on the opening day of next season.

 

 

HEAD 2 HEAD WEDNESDAY WINS IPSWICH WINS DRAWS
  17 19 12

LAST MEETING

 

Wednesday 1-2 Ipswich

5 November 2016, Hillsborough, Att: 25851

(Hooper 36 // Lawrence 32′, Chambers 87′)

The result from which Wednesday turned a poor start into another push for promotion.

This was the sixth defeat in sixteen games, and since, The Owls have lost six from twenty-eight.

Wednesday’s poor form in front of goal came to the fore again in this game, turning in only three shots on target from fourteen.

Leicester-loanee Lawrence put Town ahead with a solo effort; Hooper capitalised on goalkeeper error to level the score, before a late header from Luke Chambers saw Wednesday drop to 10th, thirteen points off the pace of Brighton.

Since the reverse fixture, Wednesday are second only to Brighton in terms of points accrued.

 

 

CARVALHAL’S COHORTS

With no fresh injury worries, Carlos could keep the same side here.

Kieran Lee has enjoyed a full week of training and should keep his place ahead of David Jones (illness).

Fernando Forestieri is still not 100% fit and will probably make another appearance from the substitutes bench.

Jack Hunt and Daniel Pudil are both enjoying solid spells of form, and should keep their places, despite Carlos’ tendency to rotate in that position.

WestwoodPreview

WESTWOOD

HUNT

LEES

LOOVENS

PUDIL

WALLACE

BANNAN

LEE

REACH

HOOPER

FLETCHER

 

 

KEY PLAYERS

 

GARY HOOPER – The Owls have improved immeasurably since his return.

His link play between midfield, the front line and the flanks has been so crucial to Wednesday’s winning run.

His important goals too have helped secure wins against Rotherham and Derby.

Tom Lawrence – One of few bright sparks in a largely miserable campaign for Ipswich.

The Tractor Boys will hope he can extend his stay from Leicester beyond the summer.

With nine goals and nine assists, he is likely to be in demand from some of the Championship’s big hitters next season.

 

 

 

THE BETTING BOX: 5 OF THE BEST

 

BET Wednesday WIN Rangers WIN DRAW
Hooper FGS Hooper FGS; SWFC 2-1
BEST ODDS 11/10 16/5 12/5 6/1 40/1
BOOKIES

 

HUGH’S VERDICT:

Surely we can’t keep winning. Can we?

Wednesday are winning and winning well, but have conceded some poor goals of late. Should that particular trend continue, don’t expect much change from McCarthy.

VERDICT: 1-1

Hugh
Owls Alive
E-MAIL: owlsalive@gmail.com
Twitter: @OwlsAlive and @hugh_wragg

Images: SWFC, unless stated.


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *