Opposition watch: Ipswich Town

The low-down on this weekend's opponents from Portman Road

Currently residing just four points off a play-off berth courtesy of an impressive first half to their domestic campaign, Ipswich Town will certainly prove to be a tough test for the Whites this weekend.

With 40 points accumulated from their 28 league games so far, Mick McCarthy’s men have surprised many this term with their stubbornness and determination to prove their doubters wrong.

Despite having been fighting relegation for much of last season, the Tractor Boys hit back in the latter months of the campaign to finish a respectable 14th in the league standings, just eight points off sixth placed Leicester City.

Their fine form appears to have filtered through into the current term, with the Suffolk outfit having won ten of their games so far – seven of which have been on their home soil.

Coming into the game on the back of a hard earned point against Leeds United at Elland Road in midweek, McCarthy’s men have in fact won just one of their last seven league outings with that victory coming in their last home game against Reading.

A statistic which hasn’t affect the Portman Road outfit’s lofty position in the table as of yet, Ipswich will no doubt be looking to record a second consecutive victory in front of their own supporters when Bolton come to town this weekend.

Wanderers however will be keen to avenge last season’s cruel defeat suffered in this fixture, with Carlos Edwards’ 88th minute strike ensuring that the Whites made the long journey home empty handed.

Earlier this season meanwhile, David McGoldrick rescued a point for McCarthy’s side when the two teams met at the Reebok Stadium, with the frontman’s strike cancelling out Medo’s earlier opener.

A man who has been a revelation for the Tractor Boys this term with 14 goals in all competitions so far, McGoldrick notched against Leeds last time out and will no doubt be eager to add to his tally yet again come kick off this weekend.

A fixture which has been played competitively 36 times in the history of the game, Town currently narrowly hold the upper hand with 15 victories as opposed to Bolton’s 13 with there having been eight draws during that time.

This clash however does hold the statistic of being the last one to feature a competitive hat trick from a Bolton Wanderers player with Fredi Bobic’s treble in the Whites’ 4-1 win at the Reebok back in April 2002 still a fond memory for all involved with the club.

With Portman Road having developed a reputation as difficult place to visit this season though, Dougie Freedman and his side will have to be at the top of their game to ensure that they leave Ipswich with a positive result.
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