Ex-Leeds United and Middlesbrough men among key Ipswich Town players ahead of Sunderland fixture
We get the inside track on Ipswich Town ahead of their Championship fixture against Sunderland at the Stadium of Light.
Sunderland are preparing to face Ipswich Town in their first Championship fixture of the new season – but what can they expect?
Kieran McKenna’s side won promotion from League One with 98 points last term and are being tipped to have another strong campaign.
To find out more, we caught up with Ross Halls from the East Anglian Daily Times on the latest episode of The Roar Podcast.
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RH: “There’s a lot of excitement of course being back in the Championship as the last time we were there was not great.
“We were just a typical Championship side, mid-table team under Mick McCarthy, then he left and relegation followed.
“There’s a lot of excitement with Kieran McKenna and with the players we’ve got.
“Fans are very 50/50 I think. Some fans are very positive and going ‘back-to-back promotions, why not?’ or do a Sunderland and get into the play-offs after getting promoted.
“But some are saying ‘it’s not going to be easy,’ some are predicting a mid-table finish, top-half finish.
“I’ve gone for 10th because I think that’s a solid start. Maybe we could sneak into the play-offs but you have to be realistic.”
“There will be moments in the games where they’ll think let’s not go too crazy here because they will need to find out what Sunderland are about.
“We have attacking players coming out of our ears because that’s what McKenna likes, he wants goals.”
Who are Ipswich’s key players to watch out for?
RH: “Conor Chaplin is a fans’ favourite, I think Sunderland fans would love him. He’s just here, there and everywhere.
“He just finds space out of nowhere and he scores. He’s a clinical finisher, any rebounds he’s there
“Other players, of course we have to mention Sam Morsy (signed from Middlesbrough), our skipper. He has Championship experience and is that midfielder general who just doesn’t want to lose.
“We have a team full of sort of unknowns in that they haven’t got much Championship experience. The two centre-halves Cameron Burgess and Luke Woolfenden have both played a few times in the Championship but not many. It will be interesting to see how they can do.
“Leif Davis is another player who has been amazing, signed from Leeds last summer. It took him a while to adapt and get into the team but his assist numbers were incredible.”
How has former Sunderland forward Nathan Broadhead fared?
RH: “Our formation is very weird and it changes all the time but he plays more as a left-sided inside forward.
“In the pre-season game against Stevenage he was actually leading the line, which he did ok in.
“He’s been a fantastic signing and is one of my favourite players to watch because he can score goals, he creates things.
“He scored a very good free-kick in the last stages of League One last year and is hopefully going to be a player who can step up to the Championship.”
Predicted Ipswich XI: 4-2-3-1: Hladky, Ball, Woolfenden, Burgess, Davis, Burns, Morsy, Taylor, Chaplin, Broadhead, Hirst