Ipswich will look to continue their good start to the season as they welcome Bristol Rovers in the first round of the EFL Cup. In League One action, Bristol Rovers recorded a respectable 1-1 draw at Portsmouth the day before the Tractor Boys overcame Sunderland at the Stadium of Light.
Preview (Ipswich vs Bristol Rovers)
Ipswich is one of the favorites to advance into the Premier League during 2023–24. They played up to their hype on Sunday. Nathan Broadhead and George Hirst scored goals shortly after halftime. Kieran McKenna’s team had a 2-1 victory over the playoff semifinalists from the previous season. Despite a late consolation goal from Sunderland, Ipswich was the rightful victor. McKenna will be hoping that his team can get some momentum in this competition.
McKenna has not made a lot of big-name additions this summer, but he does have a number of players at his disposal who will all feel like they will have opportunities if they perform well when given the chance. Bristol Rovers have started the season well. This match will be considered as the perfect opportunity to determine whether his backup players are present. Given their recent 1-1 draw at Fratton Park, Joey Barton’s team is considered one of the outsiders in League One for the playoffs.
It could have been much better for Rovers, though, as Portsmouth’s equalizer in the 91st minute. However, Barton will be largely satisfied with avoiding a loss against a potential rival on the first day of play, providing them the foundation to advance in the following weeks. In the third-tier matchup between these two teams in 2022–23, Ipswich won 2-0 at Portman Road before being held to a scoreless draw in the rematch in February.
Injuries limited Harry Clarke and George Edmundson’s participation throughout the preseason, but they might join the Ipswich defense. Omari Hutchinson will start on the wing as Jack Taylor makes his Ipswich debut in the middle of the field.
Barton will still change up his starting lineup. Even though he might not be as keen to do so as his opponent. Josh Grant, Antony Evans, and Scott Sinclair will start in the center. They could start on the flank if he chooses to start an additional midfielder for this game. In addition to Connor Taylor and Tristan Crama in the midst of the defense, goalkeeper James Belshaw might also get the start. However, McKenna has more players available to him who will be eager to perform. We believe they may win this match by an odd goal of three.
Ipswich 2 – 1 Bristol Rovers
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