ITT pre match preview
Written By Ollie Allen
First round of the Carabao Cup!
After Town’s impressive victory against Birmingham City in the Championship opener last Saturday and the exciting signing of striker Martyn Waghorn from Rangers, there is no reason why Ipswich fans should not be thinking positively going into tonight’s game.
The Tractor Boys will be facing Luton Town in the newly named Carabao Cup and our opponents should not be overlooked. The Hatters are many people’s favourites to win League 2 this season which was proven by their thrashing of Yeovil Town in which they thumped them eight goals to two.
Town’s record in the first round of the League Cup over the past few years has been anything but impressive with Mick McCarthy being criticised in the past of not taking these sort of competitions seriously. However, I think instead of looking to win the game (like I may have wanted in the past), I believe that the opportunity to play some of our more ‘squad rotation’ players against strong opposition is not necessarily a bad thing.
It will be a good stage for some of the boys who did not get a chance to feature last weekend to have a run out and it will be the first time new signing Martyn Waghorn will be featuring for us. Personally, I would rather us put out a weaker side tomorrow and to have full fitness for Saturday than play a strong side and potentially pick up some injuries.
Prediction: Luton 2-1 Ipswich (Collins & Hylton, McGoldrick)
If history is anything to go by, Ipswich are in for a tough night against Luton Town. The Hatters stuck a whopping 8 goals past woeful Yeovil on Saturday and with their new look strikeforce of James Collins & Danny Hylton; they will cause many teams a lot of problems.
Town have been nothing short of hopeless in the first round of the League Cup for many years and it always comes across as a nuisance to Mick McCarthy, especially so early in the season. The likes of Stevenage (Twice), Carlisle & Crawley have all seen off Town in previous years and this year the opposition at this stage of the competition is much tougher than has been the case in previous seasons.
I've been trying to make a case for Town potentially seeing this game through especially as it seems there won’t be 10/11 changes to the side that beat Birmingham but for me, the lack of motivation to go on the road just 4 days before a long away trip to Barnsley makes me concerned that even a relatively strong Town XI may still come undone. Therefore I’m reluctantly taking the home side to progress to the next round with a 2-1 victory over Town. As long as the performance isn't abysmal, I’d say the majority of Ipswich fans won’t be too bothered about yet another early cup exit.
LUTON TOWN KEY PLAYER
James Collins: He recently joined Luton after spending just one season at Crawley and marked his Hatters debut with a hat-trick on Saturday as Luton stormed to an 8-2 win over Yeovil.
The former Shrewsbury man has been a prolific goalscorer in his career, netting 100 league goals in 299 league appearances so far. Town will have to make sure that Collins and his striker partner Danny Hylton have a quiet night if they are to see this game through. If Town are not on their A game, then it could be a long night for the Blues.
OLLIE'S PREDICTED IPSWICH STARTING XI
Gerken (GK), Spence, Webster, Iorfa, Kenlock, Skuse, Downes, Celina, Rowe, McGoldrick, Waghorn.
Prediction: Luton Town 1–2 Ipswich Town (Collins, McGoldrick, Waghorn)
Mick McCarthy’s press conference today gave the impression that a fairly strong side will be playing tomorrow and I think that will be the reason why we will beat the Hatters. With the likes of Celina, McGoldrick and Waghorn most probably starting, I think Ipswich will have enough on the pitch to edge past Luton. I think James Collins (as Kieren mentioned) will carry on his red hot form on the back of his hat trick against Yeovil last weekend and put the hosts ahead.
The quality of Town’s Iine up will come to our advantage and I am thinking that we will put the pressure on in the second half, get two quick goals (with a Waghorn winner) and ultimately progress to the second round.
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