Ipswich Town have selection dilemmas ahead of Hull City clash
Heading into a midweek game against top of the league and in-form team is usually enough of a headache, but what if you have so many injuries you could field an “injury eleven” on paper?
On Saturday, Ipswich scraped a win versus Shrewsbury Town but the cost was apparent. Two midfielders left the pitch injured, which is bad enough, but if you look at the available options left, it makes stark reading.
Jon Nolan tweaked his groin after strolling through the first 22 minutes of Town’s 2-1 victory, whilst Teddy Bishop lasted a bit longer, being kicked and manhandled for an impressive forty-nine minutes before an ankle injury ended Bishop’s day.
Pre-match, Ipswich had already lost in-form winger Gwion Edwards to a training knock, and towering targetman Oli Hawkins to a similar complaint.
Club icon Cole Skuse is on the long term injury list, keeping him company are wing-back Kane Vincent-Young, Flynn Downes and Tristan Nydam. They have shared less than ten appearances between them in the last eighteen months.
Irish striker Aaron Drinan is hoping to return before Christmas, and slightly better news is that James Norwood and Kayden Jackson are on the recovery path, both having featured in some way on Saturday.
Not injured, but serving a suspension is talented midfielder Andre Dozzell, who will miss Tuesday’s fixture as well as Saturday’s.
All told, this leaves Ipswich with one senior central midfielder available, Emyr Huws, who himself has been mostly injured in his time at Portman Road.
The bright part of this dark cloud is th academy. Ipswich has a solid production line, and Brett McGavin is the latest to roll off it, having completed a capable ninety minutes against Shrewbury, he is likely to start agian versus Hull.
The 4-3-3 formation Lambert prefers will then likely include either Alan Judge in an unfamiliar role, or Jack Lankester, both who prefer more wide or attacking positions.
Other than these, Armando Dobra may resurface in the squad, the diminutive Albanian already a fan favourite, despite a cameo of a career so far, although we cannot rule out yet more youths making their bows. Allan Viral and Zander Siziba both playing Trophy matches recently.
Unless Lambert goes rogue, and pushes a defender up the park, although the mood of the fans would surely sink in such an event.