Ipswich Town v Aston Villa

Tommy Smith

Tommy Smith has played three games for Ipswich Town this season

BBC coverage

How to follow:
Final Score; BBC Radio 5 live and BBC local radio; live text commentary on the BBC Sport website

Ipswich will be without centre-back Tommy Smith for the visit of Aston Villa as he needs surgery on his back.

Forward Freddie Sears, who missed Tuesday’s win over Derby, is fit to return after a groin injury.

Aston Villa defender Ritchie De Laet will not feature after he sustained a serious knee injury in their 1-1 draw with Brentford on Wednesday.

Ross McCormack also came off and could be a doubt after picking up a knee injury in the midweek stalemate.


BBC Radio Suffolk’s Graeme McLoughlin:

“Defensively, Ipswich Town were back to their dogged, determined and resilient best on Tuesday in picking up an excellent three points at Derby.

“Adam Webster returned to the starting XI following an injury to Tommy Smith, and the 21-year-old will keep his place at centre half alongside Christophe Berra.

“In midfield, manager Mick McCarthy has plenty of options, and fans would favour a return for Teddy Bishop at the expense of either Jonathan Douglas or Kevin Bru.

“Both Tom Lawrence and Conor Grant are likely to compete for a place on the left side of a forward three, with Tuesday’s matchwinner Luke Varney again set to be named on the bench alongside recent signing Leon Best.”

Ipswich manager Mick McCarthy told BBC Radio Suffolk:

“I would think (Villa can challenge for promotion) because of the size of the club and the players they’ve got.

“But every time teams play them, it becomes a bigger game than, with the greatest respect, Barnsley, Preston, Birmingham or Ipswich.”

Match facts

  • The Tractor Boys have not beaten Villa at home in league competition since September 1984 (3-0), drawing three and losing four since then.
  • Aston Villa have won seven of their last eight meetings with Ipswich in all competitions, drawing the other. They won the last fixture back in January 2013, 2-1 in the FA Cup third round.
  • The Villans’ last four wins against Ipswich in all competitions have been by a 2-1 scoreline – coming from behind to win in each of the last three.
  • Ipswich are unbeaten in their last five league games at Portman Road (W3 D2), although, they’ve only kept one clean sheet, coming in their most recent home game.
  • Villa are winless in 21 away league games. Only twice in their history have they had longer such runs (27 ending in December 1964 and 22 ending in August 1976).
  • Ipswich have scored only four goals in their last seven games in all competitions, never scoring more than once.

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