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Match Previews

PREVIEW: TOWN V DERBY

18 December 2015

Berra looks to continue the momentum gained from two away wins in a week as Town face Derby at Portman Road on Saturday

Christophe Berra believes consistency is key to a promotion push, as Town go into another busy Christmas schedule.

The Blues will face three of the current top-six in the next two weeks starting with Derby County on Saturday, but the defender admits the fixture card is fierce at this time of year.

“It’s all about gaining momentum, keeping our good run going and trying to stay unbeaten as long as possible, but this league is relentless,” he told Ipswich Player HD.

“There’s going to be ups and downs throughout the season but it’s about how we react to them. If we keep our levels at a good standard and we’re consistent then we’ve got a chance.

“We’ve got a bit of momentum at the moment and things are going for us but Saturday will be a difficult game.

“Every season I’ve played against Derby they have had a good team, they’re always flying high and are expected to be up there so it’ll be another test for us. We’ve only beaten Burnley out of the teams that are above us in the league, so it’d be nice to beat another team that’s up there.”

Team News

Town

David McGoldrick is out with a hamstring injury, which also saw him miss the 2-1 victory over Fulham in midweek, although Luke Varney goes straight into the squad after penning a deal until the end of the season. Mick McCarthy has no other fresh injury or suspension concerns going into the game, and has a relatively full squad to choose from.

Derby

The Rams will be without goalkeeper, Scott Carson for their visit to Portman Road as he continues to struggle with a back injury which has kept him out of their last three matches. Lee Grant looks set to deputise between the sticks, as he has done in previous weeks. Jeff Hendrick is also a doubt for Paul Clement’s side after he missed training on Thursday due to an ankle injury.


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Where they stand

Town – 6th

Derby – 3rd

Last time they met

A second-half Chris Martin strike was enough to consign Town to their first defeat in 11 matches when these sides last met in January. Mick McCarthy described it as a ‘nothing game’ in his post-match interview, and believed the Blues should have gained at least a point from the tie. Rams midfielder, John Eustace was sent off as the final whistle loomed, but there wasn’t enough time for Town to make their man advantage count as Steve McClaren’s team took home all three points.

Key Players

Freddie Sears

The striker grabbed a goal against Fulham on Tuesday evening as he slotted past Andy Lonergan with just 16 seconds on the clock, and it was a well-deserved goal based on his last few performances. Freddie has been adjusting to playing out wide in previous weeks, and it is beginning to bear fruit now, as he put in a Man of the Match performance at Craven Cottage. Having still been here less than a year, he has already established himself as a key figure in the squad, and Town will need the former West Ham man to be on song again when Derby come calling on Saturday afternoon.


Chris Martin

The former Norwich striker has hit over 20 goals in all competitions in each of the last two seasons, and having scored nine already this campaign he will be looking to continue that record. Martin scored the winner against Town the last time the Rams came to Portman Road and he will no doubt be a similar threat this weekend.

Sky Bet Odds

The visitors will come into tomorrow’s match as favourites with the bookies as they are currently priced at 5/4 with Sky Bet. Town, on the other hand, are 11/5 to pick up the three points with the draw available at 23/10.

Match Officials

Referee: Keith Hill
Assistant Referees: Nigel Lugg and Robert Whitton
Fourth Official: Andy Davies

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