Possibly one of the most exciting game of the weekend across the Football League this weekend sees two promotion hopefuls go head to head in what is sure to be a feisty encounter between Ipswich Town and Derby County.
The Rams are currently undergoing a revival under Paul Clement, and have rocketed up the table into third place, just two points off the top and, with first and second place both playing each other in Middlesbrough and Brighton, Derby could well be in the top two come the end of the weekend.
Mick McCarthy’s Ipswich meanwhile will be looking to distance themselves from the chasing pack, and a win here at home could leave them up to four points clear of seventh place, and in fifth place should results elsewhere go in their favour.
In a match that both sides need to win, FootballLeagueWorld writer Harry Smith identifies three things to look out for as Ipswich take on Derby this afternoon…
1) Daryl Murphy
The Irish striker will be hoping to secure a place in the Republic of Ireland’s European Championships squad next year in France, and if he can keep up his recently found form, he could be well on his way to gaining his spot.
If Murphy is scoring, then Ipswich usually get results, and if he can put in a solid performance here against Derby, then they could be in real trouble.
2) Tom Ince
Ince bagged his first professional hat-trick in his last game, and he will be hoping to follow up that landmark with another excellent performance against an Ipswich defence liable to collapses in concentration.
He could provide a huge threat to the Ipswich defence, and is probably Derby’s biggest attacking threat.
3) Ipswich’s approach
Fans will be hopeful that McCarthy will set his side up to attack from the kick-off because if they sit back and allow Derby to play their pressing game, they could find themselves several goals down in the early stages, and at that point, the game will almost be beyond recovery.
If they are to get anything from this game, they must play for the win, and attack from the get-go.
Ipswich and Derby fans… what do you think the score will be? Let us know your thoughts and opinions in the comments below!