Date: 17th October 2017 at 5:53pm
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This could be the defining moment for both clubs, in what promises to be a long old season but for Ipswich Town a win is absolutely vital.

If Norwich sneak a draw or better, then they will not only have the bragging rights again but it should ignite their season, if indeed this has not already happened?!

They have a new squad with a new manager, so these are testing times too for our arch rivals from over the border and having started poorly, they are now starting to feel their feet in what is one of the most competitive domestic competitions in the word.

It is also the last season that they will be able to call upon those dubious parachute payments that relegated clubs from the Premier receive, so for The Canaries too, this is a season of great transition.

Town by contrast still have the same man in charge and Mick McCarthy will celebrate five years at the club in a couple of weeks time. Like Norwich we have acquired a number of new recruits but unlike Norwich, we have spent carefully again – especially in the light of some of the big spenders in this division, with Middlesborough and Derby springing to mind.

Norwich have already spent more than 8 million on players this term but they sold Jacob Murphy to Newcastle United for 12 million and Jonny Howson to Middlesborough for around half that fee.

Apart from a whole host of new players that Town supporters will not have heard much about, they also have a new gaffer in Borussia Dortmund`s former under-23s coach Daniel Farke.

That is why this derby is harder to call than most and it could turn out to be a lot closer too. Town have the firepower up front but of course Norwich are on an 8 match unbeaten run so they should be full of confidence coming into this one.

If Town are serious however about kick-starting their season, then they really have to win this local derby in my view.

If it happens it will be the first time they have done so since 2009 but it is not only long over due, it is also absolutely essential if Ipswich are going to keep supporters onside and to retain some collective self-belief.

Depending what happens on Sunday may also define the future of Mick McCarthy as manager. A defeat is quite unthinkable.

Frank Weston – Editor of Vital Ipswich


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