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Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Big Match Preview

Plymouth Argyle vs. Ipswich Town
Saturday October 24, 15:00, Home Park

The Championship's bottom two clash down in Devon this weekend as Plymouth host an Ipswich side expected to challenge at the top of the division but still seeking their first win of the season.

It's been a disastrous start to the campaign for Roy Keane's visitors. After coming in at the tail end of last season and conjuring up two wins, Ipswich have failed to register a single victory in their first 13 league games this term.

They haven't come much closer to winning than Tuesday night though. Leading Watford 1-0 for the majority of the game, a 94th minute equaliser for the Hornets left Town stunned and cursing their inability hold onto a lead.

Indeed, injury time goals have been a feature of Ipswich's poor start to the campaign. In three successive away games against Doncaster, Sheffield United, and Barnsley, late goals cost the Tractor Boys five points.

Seven draws have been
accumulated so far this season, but with the division's leakiest defence - 26 goals have been shipped in - former Arsenal keeper Richard Wright and his defence have undermined Town's season.

However, Keane does have an abundance of attacking riches to pick from, with Jon Walters having bagged four goals this term. If the likes of Tamas Priskin, Jon Stead, and
Pablo Counago can start finding the back of the net too, then Ipswich have the firepower to get themselves out of trouble.

Their opponents this weekend have so far struggled to find the back of the net and find themselves just a point above the Suffolk outfit. However, at least Plymouth can point to actually having notched up a couple of victories.

Managers under pressure: Sturrock and Keane could both do with a win

A 2-1 win at Peterborough, followed by a victory over Scunthorpe by the same scoreline helped ease the pressure slightly on under-fire Argyle boss Paul Sturrock.

The Pilgrims finished 21st last season, only narrowly avoiding the drop, and after a summer takeover by a Japanese consortium, the manager is under pressure to show he is the man for the long-term future of the club.

Their fortunes have not been helped by a poor record at Home Park - the Green Army have seen their side secure just four points and score five goals on home turf this season.

Ipswich will travel in hope they can follow the likes of Nottingham Forest, Cardiff, Sheffield Wednesday and Watford in coming away with all three points from the South West.

Top scorer for Argyle this season is Jamie Mackie with three strikes to his name, and other leading lights include New Zealand international Rory Fallon and the creative spark of Alan Gow.

It promises to be an afternoon full of nerve and tensions and two sides low on confidence. However, whilst Plymouth enter the game in poor form with defeats at Blackpool and Bristol City in their last two outings, Ipswich appear to be inching ever closer to that first win.

It may well come at Home Park this weekend. In a battle of two of the worst defences, Ipswich have the greater strikepower to take advantage and all three points.

Nobes' Prediction: Plymouth Argyle 1 Ipswich Town 2

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