Fleetwood Town travel to Portman Road to take on Ipswich Town tonight looking to secure a vital three points, which could see Joey Barton’s side climb into the League One play-off places.
Barton’s side were not in action at the weekend, with their game at Tranmere Rovers having been postponed due to a waterlogged pitch, which meant that Fleetwood were unable to try and recover from conceding a late equaliser in their 1-1 draw at Sunderland last week.
That draw at Sunderland, though, did see Fleetwood extend their unbeaten run to nine matches in League One, and they will be aiming to continue that streak to help them maintain their strong push for the play-off places, as they look to mount a successful promotion challenge this term.
Fleetwood had managed to win five successive League One matches before their trip to Sunderland, so Barton’s side will be aiming to make it six wins from seven against Ipswich at Portman Road, which would see them move to within just four points of second placed Rotherham United.
Considering that Ipswich head into the game on the back of another frustrating result, with the Tractor Boys having conceded in the last minute at Blackpool on Saturday to fall to a 2-1 defeat, Fleetwood will be aiming to take advantage of their host’s difficult spell of form and open up a six point gap between the two sides.
The Joey Barton quiz – How much do you know about the Fleetwood Town boss?
Here then, we take a look at the starting XI that Barton should select against Ipswich…
Considering Fleetwood’s impressive recent form in League One, and the fact that the squad had an extra rest over the weekend due to their game at Tranmere having been called off, Barton will not be needing to make many real changes to his starting line-up for the trip to Ipswich.
Alex Cairns should keep his place in the starting line-up, with the keeper now firmly established as the club’s number one, and he will be looking to record what would be a third clean sheet in his last five matches in the league – and he could be needing to be at his best against Ipswich to keep the hosts from scoring.
At the heart of Fleetwood’s defence Barton should continue to select both Harry Souttar and Lewis Gibson, who have both been in really impressive for over the last few weeks, while Callum Connolly should again start – and he will provide Barton with the option of moving him into midfield during the game if needed.
In the full-back positions, both Lewis Coyle and Danny Andrew have been amongst Fleetwood’s most consistent and reliable performers throughout the campaign, and the pair will be looking to maintain their recent good form with another accomplished performance against Ipswich.
Barton could have been faced with a decision over whether to potentially rest the experienced midfield pairing of Glenn Whelan and Paul Coutts, had Fleetwood played against Tranmere on Saturday, but the pair will now have had a rest so should be able to continue to impress at the base of midfield against Ipswich.
Wes Burns should continue to keep his place in the side down the right-hand side of Fleetwood’s attack, with the winger having managed two goals and four assists so far this term, while Barrie McKay who was on target in the 1-1 draw at Sunderland should also continue to keep Josh Morris out of the side.
Up front Barton should continue to start Paddy Madden, with the 29-year-old looking to add to his tally of 15 goals in League One so far, and the forward could well prove to be the key as to whether Fleetwood are to come away with all three points from Portman Road.