Soccer AM/MW - the home of lively and humorous discussion from the Football and Non Leagues

Thursday, February 03, 2011

Big Match Preview - Ipswich vs. Sheffield United

Ipswich Town vs. Sheffield United
Saturday February 5, 15:00, Portman Road

Two teams languishing towards the wrong end of the Championship clash at the weekend as relegation haunted Sheffield United take on an Ipswich Town hoping to move further away from the bottom three.

Both sides are under relatively new management, too, with Paul Jewell having replaced Roy Keane at Town and United onto their third manager of the campaign in Micky Adams.

Adams joined his boyhood club from League Two Port Vale at the turn of the New Year. However, it's been a tricky start to his Blades managerial career, with United yet to register a victory in his five league games in charge.

The latest ended in a 1-0 home defeat to his former club Leicester, which plunged the South Yorkshire outfit into the bottom three of the Championship for the first time since the opening weeks of the campaign.

So far, Adams has also accrued a couple of draws, against Doncaster and Coventry, and suffered defeats to Norwich and away at Burnley.

Their record on the road has seen them lose half of their 14 away trips, and no side has scored fewer away goals in the Championship than the Blades.

Three wins - all by 1-0 scorelines - have been achieved at Derby, Millwall, and Hull. They've also recorded respectable points at the likes of high flying Cardiff and Nottingham Forest.

Welsh striker Ched Evans is United's top scorer this season with eight, and wide man Mark Yeates has been another stand out performer with five goals to his name.

New Blades boss Micky Adams is still awaiting his first victory as manager

Opponents Ipswich, having finally had their interest in the League Cup ended in the semi finals last week by Arsenal, are now hoping to pull away from the battle against the drop themselves.

Jewell inherited a side that, under predecessor Roy Keane, went on a run of seven defeats from nine games - a run which ultimately cost Keane his job at Portman Road.

Ironically, Town's fortunes have taken a nosedive since their victory over United at Bramall Lane in November, when they sat in the play off positions after the first third of the campaign.

However, they've won two of their first three matches under former Wigan boss Jewell, a 3-2 victory over Doncaster and then a midweek 2-1 win at the new manager's former club, Derby.

He'll be looking to build on those results as he aims to turn around a chequered home record. The Tractor Boys have six victories on home soil to their name this term. However, they've also suffered half a dozen losses too.

They were able to strengthen their squad during the transfer window, with Tuesday's match winner, Jimmy Bullard, joining on loan from Hull, and promising winger Andy Drury being signed from Luton for £150,000.

With Ipswich up to 17th now, confidence will be returning to the team and they face a United side without a win in seven games, with morale at a new low with them
now finding residing in the danger zone.

I'm backing Paul Jewell to continue his revival of the Suffolk club's fortunes therefore, with another narrow, and probably not particularly pretty, three points.

Nobes' Prediction: Ipswich Town 2 Sheffield United 1

No comments:

Post a Comment