On the one hand, you have to give the management at Ipswich Town credit for sticking with their man for as long as they have. But whatever patience the board at Portman Road have left with Roy Keane, it must be wearing thin now.
At the start of the 2009/10 campaign Ipswich failed to win any of their opening 14 matches. Now, after a much more promising start, the Tractor Boys have slumped to six consecutive defeats. This is the club’s worst run since 1995 when George Burley’s men lost eight matches on the bounce (including a 9-0 thumping at Manchester United). At six matches, the current losing streak is already the longest all four divisions this season. If Keane’s side edges too much closer to the club record 10 consecutive defeats the Irishman’s time at Ipswich must surely be up.
So, in theory, it’s the perfect time to play at Portman Road, especially as the Foxes have had few successful trips to Suffolk in recent years. City have managed a return of just one league win in 14 visits to Ipswich. But a word of caution should be noted to anyone taking Ipswich’s home form (W4 D1 L5) at face value. Roy Keane’s men have only played one team currently in the bottom half at Portman Road this season.
Leicester fans now possess an inbuilt scepticism for winnable away trips. In recent weeks Watford got their first win in eight league matches against the Foxes at Vicarage Road and Bristol City, despite holding the Championship’s second worst home record at the time, saw off Eriksson’s men 2-0. Leicester’s away form (six points from a possible 15) has improved in the post-Sousa era but all that will be forgotten if the Foxes concede twice in the match. Not only do the home side have a 100% record in the seven matches in which they have scored twice, but Leicester have only taken one point in the 10 games where they have conceded two or more. What’s more, Leicester are only two goals away from conceding the same number of away goals as they did in the entire 2009/10 season.
Perhaps with both sides mindful of conceding early we will have to wait a while for the opener. Ipswich (5) have scored the fewest first half goals in the Championship, and with only eight themselves, Leicester aren’t exactly flying starters either. A goalless first half is currently favourite with the bookies and it’s difficult to argue with their analysis. The winning margin, if there is to be one, will probably be slim.