Ipswich Town v Leeds United: YEP jury predictions

Liam Bridcutt.
Liam Bridcutt.
0
Have your say

Our YEP Jury have their say on Leeds United’s clash at Ipswich Town.

DAVID WATKINS

Rob Green.

Rob Green.

Leeds travel to Portman Road for the latest of our ‘cup finals’ knowing that history is not on our side.

In our previous nine visits we have managed just one win and one draw. Then again, history should not really worry us as this Leeds team, on its day, is on a different level to any we’ve seen during our Championship days so far.

Ipswich are a difficult side to assess. They have been erratic in the extreme but appear to have stumbled on a successful formula in February after falling to their heaviest defeat of the season, 3-0 to Derby, at the end of January.

Since then Mick McCarthy’s boys have drawn 2-2 at home to a bang in form Reading, won 1-0 at troubled Villa and came away with a 1-1 draw at Brighton.

If motivation plays any part you would have to believe the incentive for Leeds is far greater than for the Tractor Boys – it would take an astonishing run of results for Ipswich to claim a play-off spot while Leeds are right there in the thick of it now.

Even Garry Monk, whilst not speaking of promotion, is now openly acknowledging the expectation that has built up from the fans while the players themselves must be straining every sinew to claim a Premier League note on their CVs, never mind the incentive of a Premier League salary.

Garry Monk has an interesting selection choice now that Liam Bridcutt is available again. Some eagle-eyed statisticians have pointed out that we did well while Bridcutt was out for a long spell in the autumn and, of course, we beat Bristol without him on Tuesday.

Coincidence? Probably, but nevertheless the midfield combination of Vieira, O’Kane and Hernandez looked to work well. The other question is whether bringing in either Barrow or Pedraza or both helps the team’s shape and unity or whether sticking with the tried and tested that has done so well all season is the better way to go.

Getting it right is vital as is not losing this one; the sides that finish in the top six will not lose many between now and May. My heart says Leeds can grab a point but my head is saying we may just come up short. I hope I’m wrong.

Prediction: Ipswich Town 1 Leeds United 0.

KEITH INGHAM

It wasn’t pretty, but after a couple of poorish displays and defeats Garry Monk’s wagon was back on track with a 2-1 victory over a spirited, if limited Bristol City side.

With others around us winning it was so important to get the victory we needed.

This division is as competitive as always and a trip to the Tractor Boys will be another challenge. Mick McCarthy’s tenure has been challenged more than once by the fans of the club, but the owners have stuck by the Leeds United ‘fan’ and Tuesday’s impressive draw at Brighton will have put them in a positive mood for the visit of another top-six team. But they will be without their top scorer, Tom Lawrence, who is suspended. Ipswich currently sit 13th in the Championship.

Leeds’ defence benefited from Pontus Jansson’s presence on Tuesday, but, worryingly, he is still only one booking from a three-game ban. Centre-back partner Kyle Bartley could also face a couple of games out if he also picks up another booking.

I don’t want to sound like a broken record but at this stage of the season you need all your best players available. That said, Liam Bridcutt is available, but may struggle to get back in.

We haven’t had a draw for a while; I’d be happier with a victory, but a share of the spoils wouldn’t be a bad result.

Prediction: Ipswich Town 1 Leeds United 1.

STEPHEN CLARK

The games just keep coming thick and fast for Leeds United as we approach the business end of the season and tomorrow sees Garry Monk’s men travel to Ipswich Town.

Mick McCarthy was under a little pressure following the side’s FA Cup defeat at Lincoln, but a four-match unbeaten run has seen them climb to mid table, safe from the drop but miles away from promotion.

It’s a game Leeds should have ideas about winning to maintain their place in the top six. Our fate is totally in our own hands, and the way results went in midweek, it looks as if we are not going to be done any favours by anyone else. I’ll be happy with a point away from home and anything else will be a bonus.

Prediction: Ipswich Town 1 Leeds United 1.

GARY NEWBOULD

After returning to winning ways on Tuesday evening United make the long trip to East Anglia to take on Ipswich Town. The Tractor Boys, under United fan Mick McCarthy, have had a mixed campaign by recent standards, currently residing in mid-table. However beware, as their recent form has shown a significant improvement and their current unbeaten run of three games includes victory away at Aston Villa as well as impressive draws at home to Reading and away at Brighton.

As ever at Portman Road it will be a tight physical encounter with set-pieces likely to be a key feature at both ends of the pitch. The only likely change to the starting line-up may see Stuart Dallas replace Hadi Sacko for his defensive talents. A score-draw feels the most likely outcome.

Prediction: Ipswich Town 1 Leeds United 1.

MATTHEW EVANS

It was a marginally improved performance from United that put Bristol City to the sword on Tuesday night but we still switched off and allowed them a late consolation.

They had none of the guile that Neil Warnock had instilled in Cardiff the weekend before, but we face another Championship veteran this weekend and Mick McCarthy should have his players well up for tomorrow’s game after a couple of very good results.

For our part, we need to rediscover the groove we were in a month ago during the spell that peaked with the win against Derby County at Elland Road.

We’ve not won a weekend game yet in 2017 and I fear tomorrow may not change that.

Prediction: Ipswich Town 1 Leeds United 1.

MIKE GILL

In the first half against Bristol City, Leeds showed us glimpses of the type of performance that tore Derby apart. The second half was a grittier affair, more typical of a lot of the closely contested struggles this season.

More importantly United have recaptured the winning habit and because of this should edge past Ipswich.

Prediction: Ipswich Town 0 Leeds United 1.

Thomas Christiansen.

Victory at Barnsley for Leeds United would complete ‘good week’ says Christiansen