East Anglian Derby preview
One of the oldest rivalries (dating back to 1902) in the Championship is between Ipswich Town and Norwich City. Both clubs are based out of the East Anglia region, which includes the counties of Norfolk and Suffolk. The well-known football clubs in the region include Norwich, Ipswich, Cambridge, Peterborough and Colchester. The derby between Ipswich and Norwich is also sometimes referred to as the Old Farm Derby, a play on the Old Firm Derby that reflects the region’s agricultural history.
Both clubs have also had some major news in the past couple of days. Ipswich Town’s board has agreed to sell a majority stake in the club to businessman Marcus Evans. The investment will see Evans purchase the Championship club’s approximate £32m debt as well as invest a further £12m through the issue of new shares.
Ipswich are currently fourth in the Championship ahead of Sunday’s derby with Norwich, who will be lead by new gaffer Glenn Roeder. The former Newcastle United manager takes charge at Norwich City and his first goal will be to get the club out of the relegation zone. Norwich supporters will hope he can improve on a managerial record that can hardly be categorized as a success. Norwich are sitting at the bottom of the Championship four points away from safety and there appear to be problems at both ends of the pitch for Norwich as they have only created 7 goals in 13 games while conceding 18.
Between Ipswich and Norwich, the Tractor Boys have the more successful history having claimed an English championship, an FA Cup and even a UEFA Cup. Ipswich also have the slight edge in the derby matches having won 58, while Norwich have won 51, the remaining 25 being drawn. Their most recent meeting, last season at Carrow Road, ended in a 1-1 draw.
Going into this match, the only thing Norwich can look to as a sign of hope is that they are playing at home and that Ipswich have been pretty dreadful away from home so far. Ipswich are winless in six road matches (3 losses and 3 draws) and have a -8 goal differential. The Tractor Boys will need to use this match as a statement if they are to push for a promotion or playoff spot. They need to prove to themselves and others that they can win tough matches away from the friendly confines of Portman Road.