Portsmouth v Ipswich: team news, predicted XIs, referee, key stats and form guide

Pompey entertain Ipswich today at Fratton Park, with Danny Cowley in the Blues’ managerial hot seat for the very first time.

Saturday, 20th March 2021, 7:00 am

Cowley was named as Kenny Jackett’s successor yesterday, ending their near week-long search for a new boss.

He had little time to prepare the team ahead of the game – but will be determined to get off to a winning start, especially against a side that knocked them out of the play-off places last weekend.

There will be plenty of interest in how he gets on tomorrow and, of course, over the rest of the season.

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The spotlight, though, will also be on Cook as he makes just his second return to Fratton Park since leaving the south coast days after Pompey won the League Two title in 2017.

Here’s all you need to know ahead of the game.

Pompey team news

New manager Danny Cowley inherits a Pompey squad low in confidence and with injuries taking their toll on numbers available.

Danny Cowley's first game in charge comes against Paul Cook's Ipswich

Heading into the Ipswich game, he needs to see if he can improve moral in any shape or form as the Blues look to avoid a fifth-straight league defeat.

A fresh injection of enthusiasm might do the trick – but then there’s Pompey mounting injury concerns to contend with.

Alex Bass (broken) and Ellis Harrison (knee) are out for the season – we know that for sure.

The calf injury that has kept Callum Johnson out since victory at Oxford on February 23 needs to be reassessed, with the defender originally meant to be out for up to three weeks.

Meanwhile, the new boss will be looking for signs of improvement in both John Marquis (ankle) and Michael Jacobs (hamstring).

The missed the midweek trip to Peterborough and remain doubts for the visit of Ipswich.

Predicted starting XI

Craig MacGillivray, James Bolton, Jack Whatmough, Sean Raggett, Lee Brown, Ryan Williams, Andy Cannon, Lee Naylor, Ronan Curtis, Marcus Harness, Jordy Hiwula. Subs: Lewis Ward, Charlie Daniels, Rasmus Nicolaisen, Harvey White, Ben Close, John Marquis, George Byers.

Ipswich team news

Paul Cook will have to do without influential central midfielder Flynn Downes for his Fratton Park return.

He pulled a hamstring in the first half of Saturday’s 1-0 win against Plymouth.

It’s since been classified as a grade two tear which could keep him out for up to six weeks.

James Norwood missed the Tractor Boys’ trip to Fleetwood but is set to return to the fold for the trip to the south coast.

The striker was in court on Tuesday to defend a drink-driving charge but has also been suffering from back spasms.

However, he will be available to face Pompey.

The game will come too soon for Oli Hawkins, though, who this week returned to training following a knee operation.

But defender Kane Vincent-Young will be in the Ipswich squad for the first time since October, following Achilles, calf and knee problems.

Predicted line-up

Tomas Holy, Luke Chambers, James Wilson, Aristote Nsiala, Myles Kenlock, Gwion Edwards, Alan Judge, Andre Dozzell, Cole Skuse, Kayden Jackson, Troy Parrott. Subs: David Cornell, Kane Vincent-Young, Jack Lankester, Teddy Bishop, Keanan Bennetts, Aaron Drinan, James Norwood.

Match-day odds (bet365)

Pompey: Evs

1-0 11/2, 2-0 8/1, 2-1 8/1, 3-0 18/1, 3-1 18/1, 3-2 33/1

Ipswich: 13/5

1-0 8/1, 2-0 16/1, 2-1 11/1, 3-0 40/1, 3-1 33/1, 3-2 40/1

Draw: 12/5

0-0 15/2, 1-1 11/2, 2-2 16/1, 3-3 50/1

First goalscorer: John Marquis (4/1), Ronan Curtis (5/1), Jordy Hiwula (6/1)

Referee

Alan Young

Pompey stats

League position: 10th

Top scorer: John Marquis (15)

Top assists: Marcus Harness (9)

Most appearances: John Marquis, Tom Naylor and Sean Raggett (all 41)

Ipswich stats

League position: 7th

Top scorer: James Norwood (6)

Top assists: Alan Judge (5)

Most appearances: Luke Chambers (34)

Form guide (all competitions)

Pompey: P45 W21 D7 L17

Past five games

L 1-0 Peterborough (A) – League One

L 4-2 (penalties) Salford (N) – EFL Trophy final

L 2-0 Sunderland (H) – League One

L 4-1 Northampton (A) – League One

L 2-1 Doncaster Rovers (A) – League One

Ipswich: P40 W18 D7 L15

Past five games

L 2-0 Fleetwwod (A) – League One

W 1-0 Plymouth (H) – League One

D 1-1 Lincoln (H) – League One

L 3-1 Gillingham (A) – League One

W 2-1 Accrington (A) – League One

Other fixtures (3pm kick offs unless stated)

Accrington Stanley v Wigan Athletic, AFC Wimbledon v Charlton Athletic, Burton Albion v MK Dons, Fleetwood Town v Swindon Town, Gillingham v Doncaster Rovers, Northampton Town v Crewe Alexandra, Oxford United v Blackpool, Plymouth Argyle v Bristol Rovers, Rochdale v Peterborough United, Shrewsbury Town v Hull City, Sunderland v Lincoln City.

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

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