Promotion chasing Ipswich Town visit the AESSEAL New York Stadium this Saturday. The Tractor Boys have been amongst the most consistent performers in the Sky Bet Championship this term and look set to be involved in the promotion shake up for the remainder of the season. Here we take a closer look at the Millers opposition this weekend.
Ipswich’s form has dipped in recent weeks, having gained just one win in all competitions throughout January. The Tractor Boys suffered their first defeat since October when they were beaten 1-0 by Derby County on the 10th January. They then went on to lose an FA Cup replay against Southampton before defeat at Brighton and a home draw against Wigan sandwiched a victory away at Millwall. However Ipswich remain firmly in the hunt for promotion to the Premier League. They sit in fourth place in the Championship, just three points behind league leaders AFC Bournemouth.
Experienced Republic of Ireland striker Daryl Murphy is the man scoring the goals for Ipswich Town this season. Murphy has found the back of the net 18 times in the Championship, already making it the most prolific season of the Irishman’s career. He is currently the league’s leading goal scorer.
Another player at Ipswich enjoying a fine season is defender Tyrone Mings. The 21-year-old has enjoyed a breakthrough season at Portman Road, and has really stepped up his game since taking the left back position vacated by the departure Aaron Cresswell. Mings is a full back who likes to get forward and be an outlet for the team down the left flank and his physique allows him to get up and down the pitch with ease. But he is also a very good defender and has been a major factor in Town having the third best defensive record in the division. Mings’ impressive performances have seen him linked with moves to the likes of Liverpool and Arsenal.
Since the arrival of Mick McCarthy at Portman Road in November 2012 the only way has been up for Ipswich. After taking over from Paul Jewell, McCarthy guided Ipswich away from the Championship relegation zone in his first season. He then built on this in his first full season in charge by taking the Tractor Boys to within four points of the play-offs, finishing a respectable 9th. This laid the foundations for McCarthy to have a real crack at promotion this term and he has built a team that is more than capable of finishing in the automatic promotion places in May.
McCarthy has a good history when it comes to gaining promotion from the second tier of English football. The Barnsley-born manager has already lifted the Championship title twice in his career, with Sunderland in the 2004/05 season and again with Wolves in the 2008/09 campaign.
Ipswich came out on top when the two teams met earlier this season at Portman Road. The Tractor Boys came racing out of the blocks and scored two goals in the opening six minutes to immediately make things difficult for the Millers. Despite a spirited effort for the rest of the match, Rotherham could not crack the stubborn Ipswich defence and the game finished 2-0. The Millers have faced Ipswich 25 times in their history, but have only managed to come out on top five times, whilst the Tractor Boys have won 13 of their fixtures against the Millers.