By Steve Manning

Ipswich Town v The Dons – League 1 – Match 3 of 46

Venue: Portman Road (Capacity: 30,311 – Away: 1,900).

League Records:

Ipswich Town – 7th, PD 2 W 1 D 1 L 0 GF 3 GA 2 GD +1 Pts 4.

Top League Scorer: Lee Evans, Marcus Harness, and Sam Morsy – 1 goal each. Top Assist Provider: Conor Chaplin, and Wes Burns – 1 assist each.

The Dons – 23rd, PD 2 W 0 D 0 L 2 GF 0 GA 2 GD -2 Pts 0.

No goal statistics to show for league competition, Conor Grant has 1 League Cup goal to his name.

Previous Results: Ipswich lost 1-0 at home to Colchester United & the Dons beat Sutton United at home 1-0, both were EFL Cup First Round ties.

Head-to-Head: Ipswich: 3 Wins – Drawn: 4 – The Dons: 1 win (via a penalty shootout). Goals: Ipswich – 11, The Dons 8.

Sutton United Review – Conor Grant’s first competitive goal for the Dons was enough to see off League 2 minnows Sutton United in their Carabao Cup 1st Round tie Tuesday night, It also handed Liam Manning his first win of the season, after a fruitless first couple of games in the league had left the club sitting second bottom of their division, and above Burton Albion only on goal difference.

After a slow and tepid start from both sides, it was Dons Darragh Burns who fired the first shot across the United bow, when he took hold of the ball from distance but was unable to keep his long-range effort down and watched his effort sail over the U’s bar. Darragh Burns would again get a shot off on the visitor’s goal later in the first half, but his tame effort lacked any real power to beat Jack Rose in Sutton’s goal. The Dons did manage to take the lead after some fine work from Burns, and Devoy found his countryman Grant in the right place to set himself, and then rifle the ball past an outstretched Rose after 31 minutes. The Dons finally had their first goal of the season, and their first in 221 minutes of competitive football.

Irishman Burns could’ve had a goal of his own shortly afterwards as his header went narrowly wide from a Henry Lawrence cross. Matt Dennis should’ve also scored for the hosts, but he fired over after losing his marker and turning on the edge of the visitor’s area. Sutton’s Alistair Smith came closest to equalising for Matt Gray’s Papa John’s Trophy finalists, when his low effort was pushed away by the Dons Jamie Cumming, the Dons holding out for their first victory in three games.

In Wednesday night’s 2nd Round draw Dons have been drawn away to Championship side Watford with the tie to be played at Vicarage Road, in the week beginning 22/08/22.

How could Ipswich line up? I expect Kieran McKenna to set his side up in a 3-4-3 formation, which has served him so well since moving to Portman Road from Manchester United last season. Ipswich should be largely unchanged for today, from the XI that lost to Colchester on Tuesday night. Expect summer signing Marcus Harness to come into the Town starting line-up after coming on from the bench in midweek. Richard Keogh could make his Ipswich debut against his former employers.

Possible Ipswich XI: 3-4-3, 31. Václav Hladký 2. Richard Keogh – 6. Luke Woolfenden – 15 Christian Burgess. 11. Marcus Harness – 5. Sam Morsy (c) – 16. Rakeem Harper – 21. Greg Leigh. 23. Sone Aluko – 10. Conor Chaplin – 14. Tyreece John-Jules.

How The Dons could line-up? It goes without saying that the side running out at Portman Road this afternoon, will have reverted to something more akin to what we have seen in the league so far this season. Again a 4-2-3-1 formation, with a returning Lewie, and Daniel Oyegoke as the full backs. One, or both, of Burns and Devoy to keep their places also in my opinion.

Possible Dons XI: 4-2-3-1, 1. Jamie Cumming 12. Daniel Oyegoke – 5. Warren O’Hora – 4. Jack Tucker – 3. Dean Lewington (c) 28. Dawson Devoy – 8. Ethan Robson 20. Darragh Burns – 16. Conor Grant – 19. Louie Barry 30. Matt Dennis.

One to Watch 11. Marcus Harness – Ipswich Town: Harness arrived at Ipswich this summer with an impressive scoring record from his time at Pompey. 23 goals in 111 appearances. He operates as a right winger but is also capable of playing as a striker if needed. A very dangerous opponent for any league one defender he’ll capitalise on the slightest mistake at will, capable of unlocking any goalscoring opportunities for his teammates if given the chance.

One to Watch. 28. Dawson Devoy – The Dons: Even if Dawson doesn’t start this fixture, I expect the Dubliner to play some part in this clash as his team searches for a first league win of the season. His tenacity shone through against a well drilled Sutton team in midweek, and he showed Liam Manning exactly what he can do. Some compare him to French legend Zinedine Zidane, and that is a label that is befitting for the former Bohemians midfielder.

Score Prediction – Ipswich Town 1 The Dons 1

In the last four meetings between the Tractor Boys, and the Dons it has ended all square. I can see Liam Manning’s young side taking at least a point from this fixture with the improvements we have seen lately. A Score draw is my prediction, Darragh Burns to score for the Dons.

Match Odds supplied by Ladbrokes (*other bookmakers are available).

Ipswich Town win: 8/11 Draw: 23/10 Dons win: 10/3 1-1 Draw: 11/2 (*Odds are subject to change, please gamble responsibly).

If you are making your way to Ipswich for today’s game, then enjoy it and have a safe journey. Bring us home those 3 points you Dons! Before I go, I just want to say thank you to everyone who has stopped me at games so far this season, and in the streets of MK, to offer me support, and well wishes with the match previews – Thanks Again, it’s appreciated.

Next Up: Port Vale (H) Tuesday 16th August 7.45pm.

Until Next Time, SM.

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