Ipswich versus Norwich City
Thursday, 21st Apr 2011 11:19
One thing above all else stands out about the average Norwich City supporter. Regardless of what may happen in the league, the two derby games, to decide who claims the title, "Pride of Anglia", take precedence. A double over Ipswich means more to many than promotion to the Premier League.
It can hardly be stated without seemingly crowing, that the earlier fixture at Carrow Road resulted in a 4-1 upset of major proportions.
The Lower Barclay gleefully serenaded then manager, Roy Keane, with the ditty, "You're Getting Sacked In The Morning".
Boasting rights were firmly lodged north of the Suffolk/Norfolk divide, and the North Folk delightedly rubbed salt in the wound.
Much has happened since that Sunday in November. Norwich City has surprised everybody by winning and drawing more than they have lost to leave them now just one point shy of the second promotion spot.
Ipswich did eventually sack Roy Keane and installed Paul Jewell as the new manager, and from a club looking as though there would be a relegation battle, they have moved into a place where the players are reported as believing they have a real chance of stealing a play off place.
Try to ignore the battle for the Pride of Anglia prize for a moment. Both sets of players can see the biggest prize in English Football just ahead. Every footballer dreams of playing in the Premier League, so tonight's game is a must-win for both sides.
If Norwich win, and QPR manages to rob Cardiff of the three points, Norwich are as good as promoted with just Derby, Portsmouth and Coventry left to play. Cardiff must face Burnley at Turf Moor on the final day, and Burnley are very hard to beat at home.
If Ipswich win, then they still need maximum points, just about, from their final three games, to make it to the lottery of the play-off places.
Who would dare call this game? First of all, there is local pride at stake. Secondly, there is football's Holy Grail within the graps of all who meet in the arena tonight.
There hasn't been a more hotly contested derby than the one on offer tonight.
Photo: Action Images
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