Nickname: The Tractor Boys
Stadium: Portman Road
Distance from the KCOM Stadium: 189.9 miles (3 hours 38 minutes)
Manager: Paul Hurst was named Ipswich Town manager in May 2018, signing a three-year contract at Portman Road. The former Rotherham defender signed from Shrewsbury having taken the Shropshire side to the League One Play-Off final at Wembley, and finishing in their highest league position in 27 years. Hurst achieved promotion as a manager at Ilkeston Town and Boston United in non-League, before guiding Grimsby back into the Football League after a six-year absence in 2015/16.
Paul Hurst’s Managerial Record at Ipswich Town: P7 W0 D4 L3
Star Man: Welsh winger Gwion Edwards joined Ipswich Town in the summer of 2018 on a two-year deal from Peterborough United for an undisclosed fee. He started his career at Swansea, where he made his way through the youth ranks before becoming professional, although he never played any first-team football. While with the Swans, he had loan spells at St. Johnstone and Crawley, before moving to the latter on a permanent basis in 2014. After two seasons, Edwards moved to Peterborough United where he forged an impressive reputation as a goalscoring midfielder with 16 goals in 74 appearances as a Posh player. He has continued his contribution in front of goal in the early stages of time at Portman Road with two goals in his first six appearances for the East Anglian side.
Form Guide: Ipswich Town have gained just three points from their first six games in 2018/19, with draws against Aston Villa, Blackburn Rovers and Norwich City, and head to the KCOM Stadium looking to register a first win – and first away points – of the season. It’s certainly been a tough start to life under Hurst at Portman Road as, along with league defeats at the hands of Rotherham United, Derby County and Sheffield Wednesday, the Tractor Boys also excited the Carabao Cup at first round stage against League Two opposition in Exeter City.
Formation: Despite the fact he has only been in charge for six league matches so far, Paul Hurst has already given an indication on what formation he is looking to move forward with this season. He utilised the popular 4-2-3-1 formation in his side’s opening five league fixtures but the results will not have been what he wanted, with the Tractor Boys failing to pick up a single victory. He opted to change formation for the game against local rivals Norwich City just before the international break as he switched to a 4-4-2, which almost proved successful until the away side’s equaliser late on in the second half. It will be interesting to see whether he sticks with that approach this weekend or switches back to a 4-2-3-1 set-up.
Line-Up: Due to the fact that Hurst was pleased with his side’s performance against Norwich, it would not be a surprise to see him stick with a very similar starting line-up for this game. It was a huge blow for the club this summer when top scorer Martyn Waghorn departed for Championship rivals Derby County and it could largely be down to the likes of Jonathan Walters, Kayden Jackson and Freddie Sears to make up the goals that Waghorn provided.
Tactics: One of the main reasons why Mick McCarthy ended up leaving Portman Road was because a number of the club’s supporters became tired of his style of play which focussed on getting results playing relatively unattractive football. This meant that the new manager’s style of play was going to come under the spotlight. Hurst likes his teams to be organised and difficult to beat, whilst also playing on the front foot both at home and away. Despite the fact he largely sticks with the 4-2-3-1 formation, he is tactically flexible and will change things in-game if he believes that it is not going how he planned it to. He certainly has a big job on his hands at Portman Road following a relatively disappointing start to the season.
Head-To-Head: The two sides have met 35 times in league and cup football with the Tigers claiming 16 victories, as opposed to Ipswich’s total of eight, with 11 encounters ending all square.
Last Time They Visited The KCOM: Hull City 2 Ipswich Town 2 | Sat 18th Nov 2017
A late Jordan Spence goal rescued a point for Ipswich as they drew for the first time this season in an entertaining stalemate at the KCOM Stadium.
Mick McCarthy’s visitors went ahead after just six minutes courtesy of David McGoldrick’s low strike but the Tigers were back on level terms 11 minutes before the break when Jarrod Bowen rifled in from close range.
The home side took the lead six minutes after the interval thanks to a smart finish from Nouha Dicko but Spence’s effort secured a draw late on after Allan McGregor had saved a McGoldrick penalty.