Date: 18th September 2011 at 9:58pm
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Danny Collins and Ibrahima Sonko voted Town’s best centre-defensive pairing

As manager Paul Jewell looks for the ‘winning formula’ at Ipswich Town, Vital Ipswich is asking you the fans who you think should be in our starting lineup.

For the past week, we have been focusing on one of the most troublesome areas of the team so far this season – the centre of defence. Since the departure of Gareth McAuley in May, this zone has been a major concern for Jewell with Town conceding far too many goals so far this campaign.

In response to the problem, the Blues have brought in three new centre-backs this summer. Ivar Ingimarsson, Ibrahima Sonko and most recently Danny Collins have all arrived at Portman Road as competition for McAuley’s former partner, Damien Delaney. The question is, which two of these four should we look to make our regular defensive duo?

We offered you a list of 6 possible centre-back pairings from the Ipswich squad, and here’s how they ranked:

2% – Collins and Delaney
19% – Collins and Ingimarsson
65% – Collins and Sonko
0% – Delaney and Ingimarsson
0% – Delaney and Sonko
11% – Ingimarsson and Sonko
3% – Other

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It’s a case of ‘out with the old, in with the new’ for the Town fans, with latest arrivals Collins and Sonko clear favourites for the centre-back positions. The duo, who impressed together against Blackpool last week, were both on Stoke City’s books last season and it seems the majority of supporters would be happy to see them reunited at the heart of the Ipswich rearguard, with almost two thirds of votes cast in favour of this pairing.

Only two other combinations were particularly fancied in this poll, each swapping one of either Collins or Sonko for fellow newbie Ingimarsson. Around a fifth of voters were in favour of pairing the Icelandic defender with Collins, whilst 11% would be content to see him reunited with his former Reading team-mate Sonko.

The signs aren’t positive for Delaney however. Having been a key player in the Town lineup for the past two years alongside the departed McAuley, it seems the Irishman is no longer fancied on his own. A partnership with Collins – which claimed 2% of the vote – was the only possible combination involving Delaney which didn’t score zero. Meanwhile the remaining 3% was given to other potential combinations not included in the list, with Tommy Smith and Jack Ainsley also having played at centre-back this season.

This week’s poll: ‘When playing 4-4-2, which centre-midfield pairing do you think Ipswich should use?’ (See right-hand column to view the list and place your vote)

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What do you think is Town’s best centre-back pairing? Do you think the new signings are the way forward, or should longer-serving players like Delaney and Smith be given more opportunities? Share your thoughts using the comment box below.

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