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Ipswich Town 2 v 2 Arsenal U21
Papa John's Trophy
Wednesday, 1st December 2021 Kick-off 19:45
Blues Host Arsenal U21s as Cook Looks For Lift Ahead of Christmas
Tuesday, 30th Nov 2021 15:17

Town host Arsenal U21s in the second round of the Papa John’s Trophy on Wednesday evening with manager Paul Cook looking to record a morale-boosting three wins in a week.

The Blues came through the first round of the competition as winners of their group having initially finished second before West Ham’s U21s were docked three points for fielding an ineligible player.

Town had been beaten 2-1 at home by the Hammers’ youngsters, before winning 2-0 at Gillingham and then defeating Colchester United 4-3 in a penalty shootout following a 0-0 draw at Portman Road.

Manager Cook is aiming to make it three wins in seven days with League Two Barrow visiting in the FA Cup on Saturday. Town are still to win three successive games since Cook took charge in March.

“It’s a big week for us this week with three competitions,” he said following Sunday’s 2-1 home victory over Crewe Alexandra in League One.

“We want to do well in all competitions. It’s something that we suggested to the players, if we could put three wins together this week it would give everyone a lift around Portman Road going into Christmas and post-Christmas. We’ve done one hurdle and we’ve got two big ones to go.”

Cook will almost certainly make significant changes for the visit by the Arsenal youngsters having done so for previous games in the competition.

Vaclav Hladky is likely to be in goal with Luke Woolfenden and Cameron Burgess probably coming in at the centre of the defence.

Kane Vincent-Young is likely to be the right-back with Myles Kenlock perhaps getting another rare outing at left-back.

In the centre of midfield, Cook could start Idris El Mizouni - who missed the last game in the competition due to a one-match ban for picking up bookings in the previous two matches - alongside either Rekeem Harper or Tom Carroll.

Kyle Edwards may start on the left having been on the bench for the last two league games, while Louie Barry could be on the right, while Kayden Jackson may get a run-out behind Joe Pigott.

Youngsters such as Albie Armin, Elkan Baggott and Tete Yengi could be included in the squad having been absent from the U23s at Watford, but Cameron Humphreys and Zanda Siziba, who have been involved in previous rounds, started the Hornets game and as a result are unlikely to be involved.

Arsenal U21s reached the second round by finishing second in their group, picking up four points from a possible nine.

They started their group games with a 2-1 defeat at Swindon, won 4-3 away at Newport County and then were beaten 4-3 on penalties at Plymouth after a 1-1 draw.

The rules of the competition oblige League One and Two clubs to field four qualifying outfield players in their starting XI.

A qualifying outfield player is someone who started the club's previous match, starts the following first-team game, someone in the top 10 players at the club in terms starting appearances in league and domestic cup competitions in the season up to this point, a player with 40 or more first-team appearances over their career or a player on loan from a Premier League or category one EFL side.

If clubs transgress that rule they face a £5,000 fine. The Blues should have little trouble in meeting the requirements for Wednesday's match.

Should the tie remain level at full-time, it goes straight to a penalty shootout.

In a change to the competition rules made last week, teams are now able to field five subs from their seven players on the bench rather than the usual three.

The draw for round three will take place on Saturday with the 16 remaining sides again split on a north/south basis and unseeded.

Town faced Arsenal’s U21s in the group stage last season when a strong Blues side was beaten 2-1 at Portman Road.

Jon Nolan gave Town the lead in the 28th minute before one-time Town trialist George Lewis equalised first-half in injury time, then Folarin Balogun grabbed what proved to be the winner in the 54th minute.

The Blues huffed and puffed and hit the woodwork twice as they looked for a leveller which never came.

Wednesday’s referee is Brett Huxtable from Devon, who has shown 29 yellow and no red cards in eight games so far this season.

Huxtable’s last Blues game was the 1-0 loss at Portsmouth in December 2019 in which he showed then-skipper Luke Chambers a late red card for a second bookable offence and yellow cards to Woolfenden, Toto Nsiala, Gwion Edwards and Jon Nolan.

Prior to that he was in charge of the 3-1 Carabao Cup defeat at Luton in August of the same year, in which he booked Josh Emmanuel - having conceded a penalty - Alan Judge, Jordan Roberts and Armando Dobra as well as one Hatter.

His only previous Town match before that was the on-penalties Carabao Cup defeat at Exeter in August 2018 in which he booked Nsiala, Jonas Knudsen and one Grecian.

Squad from: Hladky, Walton, Holy, Donacien, Vincent-Young, Penney, Kenlock, Edmundson, Nsiala, Burgess, Woolfenden, Armin, Morsy, Evans, Harper, El Mizouni, Carroll, Fraser, Chaplin, Edwards, Bonne, Pigott, Barry, Jackson, Yengi.

Photo: TWTD

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Barty added 15:44 - Nov 30
Is he looking for a lift to another club ?

dirtydingusmagee added 16:04 - Nov 30
no Barty, jut around Portman

dirtydingusmagee added 16:05 - Nov 30
no Barty just around Portman rod unfortunately

dirtydingusmagee added 16:06 - Nov 30
##kin keys keep sticking lol

BromleyBloo added 17:19 - Nov 30
Think Chirewa should’ve been in the squad/given a chance……………..

Saxonblue74 added 18:20 - Nov 30
3 in a row against Charlton, Wigan and Sunderland would be the morale booster!

Steve_ITFC_Sweden added 18:24 - Nov 30
You're right, Saxon. While I always want us to win, I couldn't care less about this match as long as we do well in the League. It's League 1 that counts, not the rather ridiculous Pizza Cup.

istanblue added 18:30 - Nov 30
Another chance to embarrass ourselves against a kids team

Linkboy13 added 19:13 - Nov 30
On a hiding to nothing in these games. Lose and it's an embarrassment. Win and it's only Arsenal U21s. Who cares as long as we don't get any injuries. Hope Pigott gets a full game and looks more interested than he normally does.

cat added 19:34 - Nov 30
Let’s hope the cup distraction works the other way for us this time

Monkey_Blue added 22:26 - Nov 30
Cat…. Cook is hoping these 3 easy games distract from what a poor job of he’s done and unfortunately it will do with a lot of the happy clappy fans.

Woodbridgian added 00:16 - Dec 1
Is it just me or is the thought or beating Arsenal kids and Barrow anything but morale boosting, surely anything other than 2 easy wins. would would be catastrophic. Or have our expectations now become this low.

cat added 07:19 - Dec 1
Monkey- what a clueless post. Your a bundle of negative & corrosive energy. Thank feck I ain’t like you.

Linkboy13 added 09:06 - Dec 1
Woodbridgian Very worried about the Barrow game i think the wheel might come off ha .

Razor added 09:59 - Dec 1
Lets hope Lester gets a hat trick and shows the cheeky chappie he should be getting much more game time!!

dirtydingusmagee added 11:21 - Dec 1
dont forget this team needs to gel, should give them at least 19 games.

DavoIPB added 11:38 - Dec 1
Arsenal under 21's beat us last time!

Will be watching tonight but only to see how our players play, the result is meaningless. Have to win on Saturday though. Only the league games mean anything this season. Having said that Cook is good at getting teams to go on a cup run.

Monkey_Blue added 11:44 - Dec 1
Cat… in what sense is my post clueless? I’d rather be honest than be told I have to say positive things when I don’t believe them. I was not one of those slagging off lambert who had to make do, I’m happy to see the situation with cook as it is. He’s had so many advantages and has blown them. A better manager would have made far more of the support he’s had in terms of staff and squad. If you want fans to be dishonest that’s strange.

cat added 11:54 - Dec 1
Monkey - your entitled to your opinion but you were on Cooks case before the season even started. Still, hopefully we’ll go on a mini run again so you can disappear again!. As for clueless, that’s calling me a happy clapper

Nobbysnuts added 13:29 - Dec 1
Cook your a fraud ....get out of our club.

DaGremloid added 14:03 - Dec 1
The reason we've been on Cook's case since the club employed him is because he's achieved very little in 9 months to encourage us to jump off it.

cat added 14:37 - Dec 1
DaGremloid - indeed them first few months when we ere going through the mother of all changes with the new owners etc.
Look I’m not wedded to Cook in any shape or form but we are in a much better place than this time last season with the expansive football, crowd attendances, goals and above all the match day entertainment value. I haven’t given up on Top 6 YET, if not Cook should depart and I’ll be calling for change.

stormypetrel added 16:33 - Dec 1
I’m going tonight to see how the town fringe players do…to see what they are about and just support the team. It’s a two hour drive there. It’s sh!te weather. If that makes me a happy clapper supporting Cook, the team, the club …then so be it. But isn’t that one does when you have a football team?…not just incessantly carp about the manager..opinions maybe..wait until the season has finished maybe sooner if play offs are out of touch …then call it out.

LegendofthePhoenix added 17:54 - Dec 1
dingus, what have you been doing? Telling the world about your sticky keys.

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