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MATCH PREVIEW ~ Fulham visit Ipswich Town ~ League Cup 4th Rnd ~ 23/24

last updated Wednesday 01st November 2023, 12:01 PM

Match Preview

Ipswich Town v Fulham

League Cup Round 04 23/24 at Portman Road

Wednesday 1st November 2023    KO: 19:45

Referee: Lewis Smith (Lancashire)

Fulham manager Marco Silva
Fulham manager
Marco Silva
Marco Silva
His Wiki page
Ipswich coach Kieran McKenna
Ipswich Coach
Kieran McKenna
His Wiki page
Having already taken care of Norwich City in the last round Fulham are off to high-flying rivals Ipswich Town, who eliminated Wolverhampton Wanderers with a stunning 3-2 win in the third round.

Two months after sinking Tottenham Hotspur on penalties in the second round, Fulham can still proudly claim to be the only team to have beaten Ange Postecoglou's Premier League leaders in a competitive fixture, and no shootout was needed to settle their third-round tie with Norwich.

Indeed, goals either side of the break from Alex Iwobi and Carlos Vinicius proved telling, and while Carlos Sainz cut the arrears in half with 15 minutes to go, Marco Silva's men bolted the back door shut to punch their ticket to the last 16 for only the third time in nine seasons.

The Cottagers' last two appearances at this stage of the tournament have both ended in heartache, losing 2-0 to Manchester City in the 2018-19 edition before a 3-0 loss to Brentford in 2020-21, but they enter Wednesday's game having held Brighton & Hove Albion to an applaudable 1-1 draw on the South Coast.

Joao Palhinha's drive cancelled out an Evan Ferguson opener to prolong Fulham's unbeaten Premier League run against the Europa League contenders, although that stalemate leaves the visitors winless in five successive away matches, during which they have followed a sequence of drawing one then losing one.

The omens are therefore not promising for Silva's troops, but Fulham have overcome Ipswich in each of their last five clashes with the Tractor Boys, most recently sinking their hosts 1-0 in a 2020-21 EFL Cup second-round affair courtesy of a goal from, who else, Aleksandar Mitrovic.

Neither Bristol Rovers nor Reading could stop the Tractor Boys in their tracks during the first two rounds of the 2023-24 EFL Cup, but the Portman Road faithful could have been forgiven for resigning their side to defeat against Wolves with just 15 minutes on the clock.

Hwang Hee-chan and Toti propelled Gary O'Neil's men into a two-goal lead on September 26, but Ipswich - who are currently Premier League-bound - had other ideas, as Chelsea loanee Omari Hutchinson and Freddie Ladapo drew Kieran McKenna's side level before Jack Taylor completed a marvellous turnaround.

Owing to their astonishing fightback at Portman Road, Ipswich will now compete in the last 16 of the EFL Cup for the first time since a memorable run to the semi-finals in 2010-11, where they got the better of Arsenal in the first leg of their final-four tie before ultimately bowing out 3-1 on aggregate.

One month on from their five-goal extravaganza against Wolves, Ipswich also came out on the correct end of a 3-2 scoreline during their most recent Championship showdown with Plymouth Argyle, who pipped McKenna's men to the League One title last season but are now witnessing the Tractor Boys ride off into the sunset.

With victories in each of their last four Championship games and a total of 14 victories to boast from 16 matches this season - the two aberrations being a 4-3 loss to Leeds United and 1-1 draw with Huddersfield Town - Ipswich are only behind Leicester City in the second-tier rankings with a game in hand, so Wednesday's tie could serve as a warm-up for imminent top-flight showdowns with their upcoming opponents.


Source Ben Knapton at SportsMole
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