Following a 5-0 victory over a Bolton Wanderers F.C. side with serious financial difficulties, Ipswich Town F.C. will be prepared to face a sterner test as fellow top half team Shrewsbury Town F.C. visit Portman Road this weekend. The visitors come into this one on the back of decent form as although they drew 0-0 with Burton Albion F.C. last Saturday, Salop did come from 2-0 behind to defeat Accrington Stanley F.C. 3-2 just a few days before. The Tractor Boys themselves have acclimatised well to life in the third tier as they currently sit at the top of the league after five games, living up to the pre-season expectations of many.
Ipswich Town What To Watch
One big difficulty clubs face when relegated from the EFL Championship Is the decrease in money they receive from the Football League, often leading to clubs selling a large portion of the squad over the summer. However, Ipswich seemed to have tackled this problem fairly well and one key player they kept hold of is experienced defender Luke Chambers. The central defender is a stalwart in the centre of the East-Anglian club’s defence, having played over 300 games for the club. Some may say that after such an abject performance (particularly defensively) last season, Ipswich should have made wholesale changes to their backline. On the contrary, I believe it is the correct decision to keep Chambers in the side, adding a cool head to a team that will obviously be challenging for promotion this season.
Staying on the topic of players staying at the club, Ipswich Town will be hoping that this is the year youngster Andre Dozzell can keep a place in the team throughout the campaign. Coming through the ranks at his hometown club, Dozzell had previously found it hard to break into the first team, although this was partly due to suffering a serious injury two seasons ago. Although, last year he featured in nearly half the team’s league games. Time will tell regarding whether the midfielder can live up to his potential.
Having been the star of the show at Tranmere over the past two years as they gained back to back promotions, James Norwood was brought to the club with the task of firing the team back to the Championship. Four goals in five league games give the impression that his acquisition is becoming increasingly shrewd, but he does have competition for his place in the team with fellow striker Kayden Jackson showing good early season form too.
Shrewsbury Town What To Watch
After leaving Wolverhampton Wanderers F.C. in the summer, Ethan Ebanks-Landell opted to join Shrewsbury Town after considering a number of offers and the new signing has become an early season regular at the heart of the Shrews’ defence. The central defender didn’t feature heavily in his time at Wolves despite staying for a nine-year spell with the West-Midlands club, often being sent out on loan to lower-league clubs. Both Shrewsbury and Ebanks-Landell will be hoping his first permanent move away from Molineux proves fruitful after a promising start.
The connection with Wolves does not end there as Shrewsbury signed another of their players in summer, albeit temporarily, with the loan signing of Ryan Giles. The 19-year-old has made one appearance for his parent club, against Shrewsbury in the FA Cup last season. Salop obviously saw enough of his ability to convince them that he would be a smart addition to the squad this year and the winger has so far proven them right, scoring a thunderbolt of a strike on his debut against Portsmouth F.C. in the opening game of the league campaign. Hopefully, he can show much more of that throughout the year.
Another interesting addition to the Shrews’ team comes in the shape of striker Steve Morison. Initially starting his career in the lower divisions of English football, Morison worked his way up the pyramid to play for Premier League side Norwich City F.C.. More recently, the target man has been plying his trade at Millwall F.C.. He parted ways with the club this summer, initially joining Shrewsbury on a loan deal, although this was changed to a permanent transfer just two months later. At the age of 35, the veteran striker will not be putting in as much running into the match as some of his teammates, but if he can pop up with a few goals this year, I’m sure he will be forgiven for that.
Ipswich Town vs Shrewsbury Town Prediction
Shrewsbury came tantalizingly close to gaining promotion to the Championship two seasons ago, while faltering somewhat last year. Although, the good times could well be back based on their start to this campaign, my feeling is that Ipswich will be just too good for them, as they will be for many other teams in the division this year.
Prediction: Ipswich Town 2 Shrewsbury Town - 0