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Preview: Ipswich vs Leicester

Ipswich Town
vs.
Leicester City

Portman Road

18/12/10

5.20 p.m

On Sky

Leicester travel to Portman Road looking to hammer home the final nail in Roy Keane's coffin.

Keane and his Ipswich side have lost their last six Championship fixtures in a row, finding defeat in nine of their previous 11.

The under-fire Town boss has admitted he knows the axe may fall at any point, and another loss may resign chairman Marcus Evans to part company with the Irishman.

Leicester head into the match on the back of last weekend's exciting demolition of Doncaster at the Walkers, but know their away form must improve if they are to continue their push towards the play-offs.

The Foxes have lost back-to-back matches away from home, and have only registered two victories on the road all season.

But Sven-Goran Eriksson's side will be keen to continue Ipswich's dismal run of form which has seen them plummet from 5th to lowly 18th in the Championship table.

The Tractor Boys have struggled for goals of late, hitting just three in their last six league matches to leave Keane with yet more questions on team selection.

Suffolk has not proved to be a happy hunting ground for City in recent years, however, winning only one of their last 14 at Portman Road. Their solitary win ironically came courtesy of a Gareth McAuley brace, a player now plying his trade with the Tractor Boys.

Last season's mirror encounter produced a dire goalless draw, as both sides struggled to find the all-important breakthrough.

Vital Quotes:

Ipswich manager Roy Keane: "I've had a few days to myself away from everybody.

"I went up to Manchester for a few days to speak to a few friends, nothing football-related, but people whose opinion I trust.

"I just took a step back from it all. I have not thought about packing it in."

Leicester forward Darius Vassell: "At home we are very hard to beat but, when we travel away, we have to put something into practice where we start picking up points, even if it is only a draw.

"We have to stop losing away from home. If we can combine our home form with a few points away from home, there is no reason why we can't be up there challenging at the top of the table."

Ipswich Town Team News:

Roy Keane is not likely to hand Tamas Priskin a start up front after his less than pleasing attitude coming off the bench at Preston last weekend.

Goalkeeper Marton Fulop could return between the sticks to face his former club after his ankle injury.

Similarly centre-back Damien Delaney is battling a virus to face his old employees, while young starlet Connor Wickham is struggling with a hip problem.

Player to watch: Jason Scotland

The powerful striker has a useful track record at this level, his impressive goal-scoring with Swansea eventually tempting Wigan to bring him to the DW Stadium.

Having failed to stamp his authority on the Premier League his return to the division saw Ipswich emerge as successful suitors, and Scotland has repaid the faith to some extend with five goals this season. A modest tally perhaps, but he remains the club's top goal-scorer in a low-scoring year.

Leicester City Team News:

Kris Kirkland looks set for his Leicester debut after finally recovering from the injury which has so far delayed an appearances in a Foxes shirt.

Manager Sven-Goran Eriksson is expected to be without the services of strikers Roman Bednar and Martyn Waghorn, suffering from a badly bruised foot and illness respectively.

Curtis Davies is battling to make the match after missing two days of training this week, but should be fit enough to start.

Player to watch: Lloyd Dyer

The pacy winger looks set to be handed his first league start in almost two months, and will be keen to take his opportunity with both Roman Bednar and Martyn Waghorn sidelined.

Leicester fans have been keen to see the former West Brom man from the start after a series of exciting showings off the bench, and the winger can show Eriksson exactly what he is made of with a useful showing at Portman Road.

Match Facts & Stats

- The last team to lose seven Championship matches in a row was Plymouth last season - who were relegated.

- Ipswich are on their worst run since 1995, when they were in the Premier League.

- But the Tractor Boys have won nine of their last 14 home meetings against the Foxes.

- Leicester have more attempts on goal this season than any other side - 290.

- They have also committed the fewest fouls (189).

- The Foxes have not scored direct from a corner yet this season, taking the toll to 223.

Ref Watch:

Stuart Attwell. Oh dear lord.

Match Prediction:

Why do I have a bad feeling? *slaps himself round the face*. Ipswich's run of form can continue for another game, can't it? But I'm going for a bore draw. Ipswich 0-0 Leicester.

Next Fixtures:

Sunday 26th December:

Leeds (H)


Writer:JBFox
Date:Friday December 17 2010
Time: 8:26PM

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