Town Almost Full-Strength
Friday, 8th Feb 2002 10:28
Town have a virtually full-strength squad available for tomorrow's match with Liverpool. Only Finidi George is unavailable, still in Africa seeking a bronze medal from the African Nations' Cup.
George Burley is likely to go with the same players who won at Everton and against Fulham last week, although Marcus Stewart may get to start ahead of Alun Armstrong. A move back to 4-4-2 looks likely.
The three injury worries from earlier in the week, Jermaine Wright (groin), Mark Venus (knee) and Alun Armstrong (ankle), are all OK.
Liverpool may give Abel Xavier a debut as Jamie Carragher is suspended, although John Arne Riise could move into Carragher's left-back role.
Chris Kirkland may come in if keeper Jerzy Dudek still has a problem with his groin, but that is thought unlikely. Liverpool will also have Nick Barmby and Gregory Vignal returning to their squad.
Town defender and Liverpool supporter John McGreal thinks that the Reds can win the championship this year: "Liverpool won't have a better chance to win the title than they have this season. I believe it is between the big three of Manchester United, Arsenal and Liverpool; there are only three points between them. Over the past couple of years Manchester United have run away with it but it is a lot closer now and could go down to the wire."
Town manager George Burley says of tomorrow's opponents: "They are one of the best sides in Europe and will push Manchester United all the way in the race for the title. Their 4-0 win at Leeds was a tremendous achievement. They are tight at the back and dangerous on the break. We'll need to play to our maximum, and have a bit of luck, to get anything out of the game. Liverpool are well organised and have a lot of class players who know their system."
Burley feels the Liverpool style has developed a lot over the years: "Liverpool try to play football the right way. Their style has been developed over the years through managers like Bill Shankly, Bob Paisley and Joe Fagan. At Ipswich we are a family club who do not have the financial strength of the big clubs so we have built a tradition of bringing players through the youth scheme."
Town's Hermann Hreidarsson and Martijn Reuser will be out to avoid a fifth yellow card of the season. Should either of them get booked they will face a ban. From March 1st players only receive a ban when they reach ten yellow cards.
Squad: Sereni, Marshall, Salmon, Makin, Clapham, Hreidarsson, Venus, McGreal, Bramble, Gaards√łe, Holland, Magilton, Wright, Reuser, Le Pen , Peralta, T Miller, Bent, Stewart, Armstrong and Couñago.
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