Match preview: Ipswich Town v Wolves - Everything you need to know

PUBLISHED: 06:00 27 January 2018 | UPDATED: 12:38 27 January 2018

Joe Garner celebrates his equaliser in Ipswich Town's dour 1-1 draw at Bolton last week. Picture: PAGEPIX

Joe Garner celebrates his equaliser in Ipswich Town's dour 1-1 draw at Bolton last week. Picture: PAGEPIX

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Ipswich Town host Championship league-leaders Wolves at Portman Road today. STUART WATSON previews the action.

Ipswich Town boss Mick McCarthy has called upon the club’s supporters to get behind his players during this afternoon’s match against Championship table-toppers Wolves to Portman Road.

The Blues boss questioned whether Blues fans’ expectations were unrealistic following last weekend’s 1-1 draw at lowly Bolton. Quizzed further on that, he said: “You’ll know by now that I’ll take a point from any away game ever. It’s not the case that we should just go to Bolton, Burton, Birmingham and Sunderland and roll them over.

“I remember when we were bottom of the league here with seven points after 13 games and we smacked a few of them at this place – Crystal Palace and Leicester coming to ‘lowly Ipswich’ and getting their arses kicked.

“But my expectations are to be in and around the top six.

New Ipswich signing Stephen Gleeson is set for his full debut today. Picture: PAGEPIXNew Ipswich signing Stephen Gleeson is set for his full debut today. Picture: PAGEPIX

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“And what I expect of them (the fans) is to come and support the lads, make a noise and make it a good atmosphere.

“I’ve always said if we struggle and we don’t play well then come the end of the game they can boo all they like. But in the meantime get behind them, generate a good atmosphere like we had against Leeds and hopefully we’ll have those kind of performances and results. That’s what I expect.”

Town more than matched Wolves in a narrow 1-0 defeat at Molineux just before Christmas and Nuno Santo Espirito’s men are now winless in four across all competitions following last weekend’s limp 2-0 home loss to Nottingham Forest.

“Give (Nottingham Forest boss Aitor) Karanka and his team the plaudits, no doubt, but I saw Nuno’s comments saying his team didn’t play well – and they didn’t,” said McCarthy.

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“It happens. It’s very rare for a team to go all the way through and keep winning all their games.

“They might be physically or mentally knackered. There are a lot of foreign players who have come in and played over Christmas for the first time.

Cameron Carter-Vickers is likely to make his first Town start at Portman Road. Picture: PAGEPIXCameron Carter-Vickers is likely to make his first Town start at Portman Road. Picture: PAGEPIX

“Of course I’ve watched how others have played against them.”

He added: “We have to play exactly the same against them as we did before in terms of stopping them creating chances, but we’ve got to do better ourselves with the ball.

“It could have been so different for us up there and they were relieved to get away with 1-0.”

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Opposition lowdown

Team name: Wolves

David McGoldrick was linked with a move away from Portman Road but ended up staying. Picture: PAGEPIX LTDDavid McGoldrick was linked with a move away from Portman Road but ended up staying. Picture: PAGEPIX LTD

Manager: Nuno Espirito Santo (May ‘17: P34 W22 D7 L5)

Last five finishes: 15th, 14th, 7th (all Champ’), 1st (Lg One), 23rd (Champ’)

Current position: 1st

Form: LLDDW WDWWD

Last game: L 2-0 Nottm Forest (a)

Away: P14 W9 D3 L2 F22 A10

Top-scorers: Jota, Bonatini (12), Cavaleiro (7)

Most assists: Douglas (8), Cavaleiro (6)

Biggest win 17/18: 5-1 v Burton (h)

Biggest loss 17/18: 2-0 v Forest (h) / Sheff U (a)

Stat attack

10 – Goals Wolves have conceded in 14 away league games

14 – Goals Town have conceded in 14 home league games

• December’s 1-0 loss at Molineux was Town’s first defeat to Wolves in eight meetings

Last meeting

Wolves 1 Ipswich Town 0

Date: Saturday, December 23, 2017

Town were beaten but far from disgraced at the home of the big-spending league-leaders just before Christmas.

Ivan Cavaleiro’s fine finish (41) was the only goal of the game after Myles Kenlock was out-muscled. In general, both defences were on top.

Ipswich Town team news

• Cole Skuse was withdrawn at half-time of last weekend’s 1-1 draw at Bolton after suffering a setback to the ankle injury he has been playing with recently.

• He will be replaced in midfield by recent signing Stephen Gleeson, the free transfer addition from Birmingham having impressed as a substitute on his Blues debut.

• Dominic Iorfa is ineligible to face his parent club. He will be replaced by Jordan Spence with the right-back having just served a three-match ban.

• Adam Webster (Achilles), Grant Ward (groin) and Tom Adeyemi (hamstring) are all back in training and set to feature for the Under-23s on Monday.

• Dean Gerken (hip), Emyr Huws (knee), Teddy Bishop (hamstring) and Andre Dozzell (knee) remain sidelined.

Wolves team news

• Defender Ruben Vinagre is available again after serving a three-game ban.

• Spanish striker Rafa Mir, a recent £1.5m addition from Valencia, could make his full league debut.

• Wing-backs Barry Douglas and Matt Doherty were subbed at half-time last weekend and could be rested after gruelling schedules.

• Nuno Espirito Santo has no key injuries to deal with.

Key opposition man

Ruben Neves

The Portuguese midfielder (pictured above)oozes class – and so he should after costing £15.8m to sign from Porto. Makes Wolves tick.

Odds

Ipswich Town 23/5

Draw 29/10

Wolves 3/4

Referee

Simon Hooper (Wiltshire)

Games: 27, Yellows: 85, Reds: 3

Stuart’s prediction

Ipswich Town 0 Wolves 1

Neither in sparkling form, but Wolves’ extra quality should make the difference

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