Kick Off: 12.00, Sunday 21st August
TV: Sky Sports 2
Referee: David Coote
Ipswich team news:
Conor Grant became the latest Ipswich attacker to head for the treatment table, missing the midweek trip to Molineux with a groin injury. He joins Brett Pitman, Luke Hyam and David McGoldrick on the sidelines.
Norwich team news:
John Ruddy and Martin Olsson missed the midweek win over Bristol City due to groin and hamstring injuries respectively, and are out of Sunday’s derby. Graham Dorrans (groin) is also unlikely to feature though Jacob Murphy is pushing for a return to the team after coming back from a hamstring strain. Alex Pritchard and Matt Jarvis are also out.
It’s a first derby meeting between these sides since their fiery two-legged encounter in the play-off semi-final two years ago. Norwich got the better of proceedings that time round, following a 1-1 draw at Portman Road with a convincing 3-1 victory on home turf.
It continued a sickeningly recurring trend for Ipswich fans, who haven’t witnessed their side get one over their rivals in six recent attempts, a sequence of results that has seen Ipswich register just four goals in response to 16 from the Canaries.
In the time between their last encounter, Alex Neil’s side have suffered another chastening experience in the Premier League, while Ipswich enjoyed a promising but ultimately frustrating campaign, finishing just outside the play-off spots in seventh.
Despite their respective disappointments, both clubs must be commended for preserving an all-too-rare sense of stability over the summer, with both managers remaining in post and neither playing squads experiencing too much in the way of turbulence.
Of course it says much for Norwich’s chances of an immediate return to the top flight that they have managed to retain the services of the likes of Wes Hoolahan, Robbie Brady and Timm Klose, particularly with the former two having performed so impressively on the international stage at Euro 2016.
It’s therefore no surprise that Norwich remain second favourites at 33/10 behind Newcastle (5/2) to win the division outright, particularly following a strong start that has seen Neil’s men pick up seven points from three games.
Meanwhile Ipswich’s stable summer has not been reflected in their results, failing to follow a promising 4-2 opening day win over Barnsley with any further success. An embarrassing reversal to Stevenage in the EFL Cup was followed by defeat at Brentford, before drawing 0-0 at Mick McCarthy’s old side Wolves. This will be McCarthy’s fifth attempt at victory over Norwich as Ipswich manager.
It all means that with form, recent history and a fit and firing squad on their side, Norwich are the clear favourites to win at 6/5. With Ipswich’s growing injury-list tending to be top heavy on forwards, it’s no surprise that the Tractor Boys have failed to find the net on their last three outings. Added to their failure to score many in the recent East Anglia derbies, the away side will also be confident of keeping their third clean sheet of the season, with Ipswich 33/20 not to get on the scoresheet.