Norwich City vs Ipswich Town: Preview and Prediction

Ipswich Town will be keen to keep their impressive run going when they face Norwich City on Saturday.

EFL Championship leaders Ipswich Town will aim to keep hold of the top spot when they travel to Carrow Road to take on sixth-placed Norwich City in the early kick-off on Saturday afternoon. The East Anglain Derby this season certainly could decide where both sides finish this season.

Kieran McKenna’s men earned a last gasp win over Southampton last time out and with just a handful of games to go, are eyeing an automatic promotion spot. Norwich City, on the other hand, are currently in the sixth spot and are keen to finish in the playoff spots.

A loss on Saturday could see the Canaries fall to within touching distance of the chasing pack. Given that they have also played a game more, it could seriously jeopardise their hopes for a top-six finish.

Ipswich currently hold a one-point lead over Leeds United and are two ahead of Leicester City. However, the Foxes have played a game less. Both Leeds and Leicester play later on Saturday as well, but Ipswich could extend their lead with an early win, putting their rivals under pressure.

Having just been promoted to the second tier from League One at the end of last season, the Tractor Boys deserve much praise for their fearless style of football. The very fact that they are even in contention for a top-six spot let alone the Championship title is testament to the excellent work done on and off the field at Portman Road.

Playing in the Premier League appeared to be a distant dream just last season, and now the onus will be on Ipswich to drive home their advantage. With a favourable run of games coming up to wind up the season, McKenna will hope that there are no nasty surprises in store for his side.

Norwich have won 14 of their last 20 games, but inconsistency and game management remains an issue. David Wagner’s men led Leicester City last time around before crumbling to a 3-1 loss. Ipswich Town’s tenacity to fight till the last gasp will be a proper test for the Canaries players who will once again bank on home advantage to see them through.

Both teams played out an exciting 2-2 draw at Portman Road in the reverse fixture earlier this season. A draw is unlikely to help either side achieve their ambitions this time around. The Hard Tackle takes a look at how both sides could line up for the game and their tactics.

Team News & Tactics

Norwich City

Jacob Sorensen was taken off against Leicester City with a knock and is unlikely to make the cut this weekend. He is likely to be replaced by veteran centre-back Shane Duffy. The Canaries will also be without Onel Hernandez, Dimitris Giannoulis and Jonathan Rowe. Rowe, in particular, is a big miss as the 20-year-old scored both of Norwich’s goals in the reverse fixture at Portman Road.

Despite the defeat last time out, David Wagner is expected to retain most of the side that featured against Leicester City. Angus Gunn should start in goal behind the back four of Jack Stacey, Shane Duffy, Ben Gibson, and Sam McCallum.

Marcelino Nunez and Kenny McLean will aim to keep the Ipswich creators quiet, paving the way for the trio of Gabriel Sara, Ashley Barnes, and Borja Sainz the freedom to push forward. USMNT star Josh Sargent is expected to lead the line for Norwich against Ipswich. The 4-2-3-1 formation will aim to stifle Ipswich’s game and make use of strength in numbers to force the issue.

Probable Lineup (4-2-3-1): Gunn; Stacey, Duffy, Gibson, McCallum; Nunez, McLean; Sara, Barnes, Sainz; Sargent

Norwich City vs Ipswich Town: Preview and Prediction.

Ipswich Town

The Tractor Boys have injury concerns of their own and will be without the services of Brandon Williams, Janoi Donacien, George Hirst, and Wes Burns.

Kieffer Moore is a doubt for the game and is likely to undergo a late fitness test. McKenna’s tactics combined with a never say die attitude has more or less added a second wind to the Ipswich side, at times making it seem like they have a 12th man on the pitch.

The visitors are also likely to retain their 4-2-3-1 formation with Vaclav Hladky in goal. He should be protected by the backline of Axel Tuanzebe, Luke Woolfenden, Cameron Burgess, and Leif Davis.

Sam Morsy and Massimo Luongo should form the double pivot, with the trio of Omari Hutchinson, Conor Chaplin, and Jeremy Sarmiento playing the attacking roles. Ali Al-Hamadi should lead the line should Moore miss out on Saturday.

Probable Lineup (4-2-3-1): Hladky; Tuanzebe, Woolfenden, Burgess, Davis; Morsy, Luongo; Hutchinson, Chaplin, Sarmiento; Al Hamadi

Norwich City vs Ipswich Town: Preview and Prediction.

Key Stats

  • Ipswich Town have won nine of their last ten Championship games.
  • Norwich City have not been held scoreless at home since January 6.
  • Both teams have faced of 108 times so far, with Ipswich winning 43 games and Norwich coming out on top 42 times. The remaining 23 matches have ended in a draw.
  • Ipswich Town have found the back of the net 84 times in the Championship this season, more than any other side in the division.
  • Only Norwich City have conceded more goals than Ipswich Town among the top seven clubs in the second tier going into this weekend.

Player to Watch

Leif Davis

Embed from Getty Images

The 24-year-old arrived from Leeds United in 2022 and has since been a stellar addition to the Ipswich Town squad. With 16 assists this season, Davis is joint top in terms of assists created in the Championship alongside Leeds United star Georginio Rutter.

He will once again be tasked with making life easier for the visitors going forward on Saturday. Wagner’s men aren’t known to be defensively prudent and Davis will certainly have his opportunities to hit Norwich where it hurts. How well he can combine with Chaplin on the night could dictate who holds the upper edge on the attacking front.


Norwich City 1-2 Ipswich Town

Norwich City are a formidable side at home and will be keen to hold onto the sixth spot. However, Ipswich Town have belief and momentum going into the tie. Opportunities to secure back to back promotions do not come along often and to do so while leaving your East Anglian Derby rival in the dirt will add extra incentive to both clubs. The Hard Tackle predicts a win for Ipswich for the night.

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