Preview: Ipswich Town vs. Norwich City

Ipswich manager Mick McCarthy looks on during his team's Championship match against Millwall on January 18, 2014
© Getty Images
Sports Mole looks ahead to Saturday's East Anglian derby between Ipswich Town and Norwich City at Portman Road.

Portman Road will play host to the first East Anglian derby for three years when Ipswich Town host bitter rivals Norwich City in the Championship on Saturday.

It will be the 139th meeting between the two clubs, with Ipswich looking to finally exact revenge on the Canaries for the 4-1 and 5-1 defeats they suffered back in the 2010-11 campaign.

To do so, they will need to halt a three-match winless streak in all competitions that has threatened to negate the impressive start they made by beating Fulham on the opening day.

Defeat after extra time to Crawley Town in the first round of the League Cup was a major disappointment for the Tractor Boys, but Mick McCarthy won't be too dismayed with results since then despite only picking up one point from two games.

A 1-0 defeat to Reading at the Madejski is by no means a humiliating result, while the manner of their 2-2 draw against Birmingham City on Tuesday - which saw Christophe Berra net a 94th-minute equaliser - would have made it almost feel like a win.

Star striker David McGoldrick started that midweek match on the bench as he continues his return from a lengthy injury, but he is expected to be restored to the starting lineup this weekend.

Otherwise, Ipswich could be unchanged for the derby, with Berra looking to keep up his good form following his unlikely brace against Birmingham.

In contrast to Ipswich, Norwich have overcome a slow start to the season and now appear to be in full swing, with back-to-back victories.

The manner of the wins will be very pleasing to Neil Adams, who tasted success in charge of the club for the first time courtesy of a 3-0 triumph over 10-man Watford last Saturday.

The Canaries also showed character to bounce back from a goal in the very first minute against Blackburn Rovers on Tuesday, eventually running out 3-1 victors at Carrow Road.

However, their solitary away match this season yielded a 1-0 defeat at the hands of newly-promoted Wolverhampton Wanderers, and Adams will be hoping for more success on the short trip to Portman Road this weekend.

Norwich will still be without the suspended Martin Olsson after he was banned for three games, but it has been a busy week at the club and a couple of new faces could feature on Saturday.

Leroy Fer has finally completed his move to Queens Park Rangers, but Carlos Cuellar and Cameron Jerome have both arrived in the last few days.

Adams may opt against throwing them straight into a winning team, however, with any debuts more likely to come off the bench. Lewis Grabban will continue up front, meanwhile, having scored three goals in as many games since his summer move from Bournemouth.

Recent form

Ipswich: WLLD

Norwich: LWW

Possible starting lineups

Ipswich: Gerken; Chambers, Smith, Berra, Mings; Anderson, Skuse, Hyam, Tabb; McGoldrick, Murphy

Norwich: Ruddy; Whittaker, Martin, Turner, Bennett; Johnson, Tettey; Redmond, Hoolahan, Lafferty; Grabban

Sports Mole says: 2-2

Who will win the local derby between Ipswich and Norwich on Saturday?

Ipswich
Draw
Norwich
Ipswich
22.6%
Draw
6.5%
Norwich
71.0%
Ipswich Town manager Mick McCarthy applauds during a game on November 27, 2012
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