Date: 15th February 2019 at 4:53pm
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Manager Paul Lambert will be making more changes tomorrow but some will be out of necessity and others forced upon him. Rotation does not occur just in the Premier League and with the huge squad currently at his disposal, he can avoid some players burning themselves out with two games in four days and the likelihood is that he will rest one or two.

Flynn Downes is an obvious candidate to find himself on bench warming duties and he may be tempted to rest injury prone Teddy Bishop too. He was taken off after 68 minutes against the Rams, having played superbly throughout, but the club will not want to push the boat out too far too soon with his sad history of long term injuries.

Ipswich will also check on the fitness of captain Luke Chambers and Cole Skuse before their Championship match against Stoke. If they are both passed fit then it will be interesting to see what Lambert does? Town played very well for long periods against an in-form Derby County side and it was the midfield and the defence that was perhaps the most impressive. Would it be wise to bring them both back when our diamond formation worked excellently and Jonas Knudsen and Mathew Pennington’s central defensive partnership quickly gelled so well? James Collins is apparently close to full fitness again I have heard but probably won’t be risked.

The Potters have failed to score in their past four league games, and are 17th in the table so this might be the perfect time to play them. If the Tractor Boys can play with the same energy and intent as they did in midweek, then there is every reason to believe that we could get all three points. It matters little in the grand scheme of things perhaps but it would make the home fans happy at last!

Stoke are concerned about defender Tom Edwards, who went off during the first half of Wednesday’s goalless draw at Wigan with a head injury but there is every chance he will pull through and Benik Afobe could keep his place in attack alongside former Burnley striker Sam Vokes. Midfielder Charlie Adam is fit again after a calf problem but whether he will be risked in this one is open to debate.

Paul Lambert was upbeat again about the prospects for the Blues at Portman Road tomorrow. ” We’ve got nothing to lose, we’ll take the shackles off and enjoy it and we’re certainly playing well enough at the moment to get wins.”

And if we are struggling to score goals then bear in mind that the visitors have drawn four blanks in a row. Stoke have not failed to score in five consecutive league matches since February 2006, so we must be on our guard, as even when they don’t score they can defend, and last time out drew 0-0 with Wigan away.

F.W.                                 editor of Vital Ipswich


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