Saints V Ipswich Town The Preview
Wednesday, 14th Jan 2015 16:09
Ronald koeman has said he is committed to the FA Cup although he must fear more injury woes in central defence.
Saints travel to Portman Road and like in the first game and indeed the capital One Cup Ronald koeman is sure to put out a side to be competitive.
But that doesn't just mean it will b his full first team, it will be about giving the odd squad player or two a game, that could mean that the likes of Shane Long, Jack Cork and the new nam Eljero Elia all getting game time to sharpen them up, not to mention the odd youngster like Matt Targett or Harrison Reed.
Although of course Saints surging to 3rd with superb results against Chelsea, Arsenal & Man Utd has raised hopes of a top four finish and this will be a priority, the reality is that Ronald Koeman knows full well that if we want to be respected as a team we have to fight onall fronts and that means the FA Cup as well, he will want this season to end on a high and a trip to Wembley is also high on his priority.
There are those that will cite the extra games as being a distraction from the League, but if Saints were to win this replay then they would possibly have another four games to get them to the final and when compared to the number of games our rivals could perceivably play in the same period this number pales into insignificance.
So Koeman will go for it again tonight with a few subtle changes.
At the back he doesnt have many options, I would expect to see Clyne with Fonte & Gardos although at left back he might change it again to give Matt Targett a run out.
In midfield he has many options but I expect him to keep the spine of Schneiderlin and Wanyama and I feel that Shane Long may get a run out after not featuring much lately, perhaps at the expense of Elia who Koeman might feel would be pushed a little too far if he plays too much in this three game week after no game for 5 weeks or so.
Up front Pelle will lead the line.
Ipswich were well disciplined in the first leg and deserved their draw, however at home they will have to come at us more, in the second half at St Mary's they were pushed back and had to concede a lot of possession, on another day we might have made them pay,but we didnt and that is credit to them, but now the game could be more open and that will perhaps suit us better.
A few weeks ago no one could have dreamed how many points Saints would have got out of the last five League games, now we need to proceed on in the FA Cup and follow that up by beating Newcastle, if we can do both of this then we will have an amazing platform to make this a truly remarkable season.
Photo: Action Images
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