It looks like injuries will force manager Paul Lambert’s hand this weekend when the Blues face Reading at Portman Road. In-form striker Will Keane is out with a hamstring injury, and after the controversial direct red card handed out to Jonas Knudsen at Wigan, he too is out suspended.
Lambert suggested today, in his weekly pre-match press conference, that he may be forced into not only changes to his team but also to his team formation. With Knudsen unavailable, he seems reluctant to stick with a three-man defence. Add to that the flu bug that has taken a few players down recently and you have the recipe for a potential crisis. Crisis what crisis I hear you ask? Well, given our current predicament, we have been in a force nine gale for some months now.
There is the possibility that Lambert might go for Kayden Jackson and Collin Quaner as a twin striking partnership; given the fact that against fellow strugglers Reading three points is an absolute must! In truth though, with a spate of injuries to his forward line, he is left with very little choice.
The good news is the Emyr Huws is back on the grass training, as is James Collins, but both will not be risked this weekend. Ellis Harrison has recovered from the bug that has spread throughout the squad of late and may play some part – probably from the bench.
Bart Bialkowski is almost certain to retain his place in goal and Gwion Endwards may get a start – along perhaps with Cole Skuse and Alan Judge in the centre of midfield. Trevoh Chalobah should also retain his place in the team.
A biggish crowd in excess of 20,000 is expected at Portman Road on Saturday, and their vocal support recently has worked almost as a twelve man. The way things are at the moment, Ipswich Town needs all the help it can get!
F.W. – editor of Vital Ipswich