|Ipswich Town 4 v 0 Gillingham|
Tuesday, 8th October 2019 Kick-off 19:45
Lambert to Make Wholesale Changes Against Gills
Monday, 7th Oct 2019 18:14
Town boss Paul Lambert says he’ll make the expected wholesale changes for Tuesday’s Leasing.com Trophy tie against Gillingham at Portman Road (KO 7.45pm).
A victory after 90 minutes or in the penalty shoot-out which would immediately follow - there’s no extra-time in the Leasing.com Trophy - should guarantee the Blues a place in the knockout phase of the competition, having won their opening fixture against Tottenham’s U21s 2-1 last month.
“We’ll make wholesale changes, lads that need games, lads that are coming back from injury, younger lads as well coming in. There’ll be wholesale changes,” Lambert confirmed, speaking after Saturday’s 1-0 win at Fleetwood.
Among those set to start are Will Keane, Toto Nsiala and Will Norris: “If Will Keane’s OK, we’ll see how he is, there’s a good chance he’ll play if he’s fine.
“The big lad [Nsiala] has been doing really well. He’ll come back into it. Will Norris will play in goal.”
Lambert was set to assess his squd and pick his team at training early in the week with Armando Dobra and Idris El Mizouni also among those likely to be in the XI: “We’ll see, on Sunday and Monday I’ll decide. The team will be fine.”
The Blues boss could switch his side back to 4-4-2 given the players he is probably looking to get a game against the Gills.
That would see Norris in goal, Janoi Donacien and Myles Kenlock the full-backs and Nsiala and James Wilson, whose one-match ban for his red card at the weekend only counts in League One, forcing him out of the game at Accrington a week on Sunday, at the centre of the defence.
In midfield, Emyr Huws is likely to be partnered by El Mizouni in the centre with Dobra and Danny Rowe - or Gwion Edwards - in the wide roles.
Up front, Will Keane will probably be joined by Jordan Roberts, the scorer of both Town goals in the 2-1 win against the Tottenham's youngsters.
Striker Tyreece Simpson and central defender Corrie Ndaba, who would be making his debut, are likely to play a part at some stage. As in the previous Leasing.com Trophy game, Harry Wright may well be the sub keeper, while Bailey Clements is also likely to be among the subs having made his senior debut in the Carabao Cup tie at Luton in August.
Gillingham manager Steve Evans, whose team lost 3-2 at home to Colchester in their opening game in the competition but won 3-1 at home to Southend on Saturday, similarly plans to make changes to his team with the Gills in League One action against Portsmouth at Fratton Park at the weekend.
“We will make changes for sure for our midweek action,” he told his club’s official site.
“That is not to knock the competition, with such a small squad in place we have, at times, got to make tough decisions.”
Historically, Town have the upper hand on the Gills, winning nine games between the sides (seven in the league), drawing 10 (10) and losing just two (two).
The teams last met just over a fortnight ago when the Blues won 1-0 at the Priestfield Stadium via Kane Vincent-Young’s header.
They last played one another at Portman Road on the opening day of the 2004/05 campaign when Town got off to a victorious start, coming from behind to win 2-1.
The visitors went in front through Paul Smith but the Blues struck back via Richard Naylor and Dean Bowditch.
EFL teams are obliged to field four qualifying outfield players in their Leasing.com Trophy starting XIs.
A qualifying outfield player is someone who started the club's previous match, someone in the top 10 players at the club in terms starting appearances in league and domestic cup competitions in the season up to that point, a player with 40 or more first-team appearances over their career or a player on loan from a Premier League or EFL side.
In reality, Town would have little trouble in fielding a team which meets the EFL’s criteria even if they changed their entire XI this evening.
With many fans boycotting the Leasing.com Trophy due to the involvement of U21s teams - in line with other supporters across the country - and the general lack of interest in the competition, the attendance is again likely to be around 5,000 at most and the club are opening only limited sections of the ground.
If the game is drawn at 90 minutes, it goes straight to penalties. Both teams would receive a point for the draw with the winners of the shoot-out getting an additional point.
Tuesday’s referee is Tom Nield from West Yorkshire, who has shown 20 yellow cards and one red in eight games so far this season. Nield will be taking charge of his first Town match.
Squad from: Norris, Holy, Wright, Donacien, Kenlock, Clements, Chambers, Nsiala, Wilson, Woolfenden, Ndaba, Skuse, Huws, Nolan, Edwards, El Mizouni, Rowe, Dobra, Jackson, Roberts, Keane, Simpson.
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