Even with the addition of the five sub rule, three games in eight days is taxing on any squad. Ipswich Town is no different, and with a full injury list, the pressure on those available to play could not be greater.

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Today, Ipswich face Shrewsbury Town and it’s not a game you would expect to be filled with animosity. However, since the Tractor Boys raided the Shropshire club for an entire management team, and two of the clubs starlets, the Shrews fans have had a dislike for the Blues, even with that coaching team now long since departed, the ill-feeling is yet to subside.

No fans at the game will prevent any atmosphere from creating issues on the pitch. Jon Nolan and Toto Nsiala are both still friendly with their former counterparts and if both start I am sure a few “friendly” challenges will cross the streaming screens early doors.

The most important part of today for Ipswich is earning three points, but almost as important is departing the field with no further injuries or suspensions, as on Tuesday in-form Hull City visit Suffolk, and if Ipswich are to achieve a successful season, taking points from Grant McCann’s side is a must.

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The Tigers are hotly tipped to be in the promotion mix come May. Paul Lambert will be under no illusions as to the task at hand, which will be much harder come 5pm today if they do not have three points but have new injuries and/or suspensions.

And then the real kicker, shortly after Hull, come Charton Athletic, a team all too familiar to Ipswich fans. It’s often the boxing day fixture when in the same league, and the adversary of many battle, the new look Bowyer-Charlton are no shrinking violets, moulded in the image of their leader, a combative Addicks team are capable of picking off easy, weary prey if Ipswich are tired from this exhaustive week.

Three home games in eight days is better than three away games, sure, but with no fans in the ground, these games could be anywhere. Lambert’s boys need to be fit, focused and fight-ready if they are to still be towards the top of the table come December.

Points tally in after these games?

Nine

Smash it

6 or 7

two wins, maybe with a draw, is a good return

3,4,5

Not confident, maximum 1 win two draws

0-2

Its going to be a bad week