Norwich City v Ipswich Town
Saturday 16th May 2015, Carrow Road. Live on Sky Sports 1. Kick-Off 12:45pm.
It is all to play for in the SkyBet Championship Play-Off Semi-Final second leg as Norwich City host East Anglian rivals Ipswich at Carrow Road.
Last weekend saw the first match-up between the sides outside of the regular season since the 1985 League Cup and it finished 1-1 with all left to play for in Saturday’s second encounter.
Canaries’ frontman Cameron Jerome fought down the byline before pulling it back for Jonny Howson to open the scoring in the 41st minute for his ninth goal of the term, but the Tractor Boys were level before the break as Paul Anderson struck in the fourth-minute of added time after John Ruddy failed to deal with Freddie Sears’ effort.
Although the result didn’t go in their favour, Ipswich boss Mick McCarthy praised the Portman Road support and said he is happy heading into the second leg.
The 56-year-old told itfc.co.uk, “It was a fantastic atmosphere. The hairs on the back of my neck were standing up when we walked out and I’ve not had that for a while to be honest. It was electric out there and hopefully there will be more of that to come.
“It was a fair result in the end. We shaded it in the first-half but after 47 games, we had some tired players out there – they did as well, we played well.
“I’ll take the draw and it sets it up for a great occasion next weekend. We have to go there and win, whether that be in 90 minutes, 120 minutes or penalties.”
Norwich manager Alex Neil shares the feeling that a draw was a fair result but knows his side can’t afford to pass on home advantage. He told canaries.co.uk, “I didn’t think there was much in it. I thought it was an unusual game – in the first half we had some good chances. You could see how much each team wanted it.
“We managed to get the goal, which was crucial, but then the goal we conceded was a bit sloppy. We had dealt with straight balls throughout the match, and it was just a punt down the park. I think if we’d have got to half-time then the second half would have been a lot more comfortable.
“[On Saturday] we had 2,000 fans, but next week we will have 27,000, so hopefully that will work in our favour.
“I still think we can play better and I hope we will at our place.
“We’ve got 90 minutes, we’ve got to make sure that we play as well as we possibly can and compete as well as we can because that will be a big factor in the game. If we do that, we’ve got a good chance of hopefully progressing.”
Norwich hold the recent historical advantage between the two sides, winning their four encounters before Saturday’s stalemate including a 2-0 home win in the regular season. You can back a Canaries win with SkyBet at 4/5.
Norwich to win 4/5 SkyBet