Ipswich Town match preview

Pre-season friendly
Ipswich Town v West Ham United
Portman Road
Saturday 31 July 2010
Kick-off: 3pm

HIGHLIGHTS AND REACTION TO COME ON WHUTV
LIVE TEXT COMMENTARY ON WHUFC.COM

Introduction

• West Ham United will travel to Championship club Ipswich Town for their fifth pre-season friendly ahead of the 2010/11 Barclays Premier League season.

• The Hammers will only have to make the short trip up the A12 to Suffolk for what promises to be an entertaining game against Roy Keane's side, who ended last season 15th in the Championship.

• West Ham will be looking to make it five wins from as many matches in pre-season. So far, Avram Grant's men have secured victories over League One outfit Peterborough United (2-1), German side VfL Borussia Monchengladbach (2-0), Greek champions Panathinaikos (1-0) and League One outfit MK Dons (2-0)

• Saturday's fixture could see Pablo Barrera and Frederic Piquionne make their debuts for the club after a full week's training at Chadwell Heath.

• The match will be the first of three final pre-season friendly matches contested before the Barclays Premier League season commences with a trip to Aston Villa on Saturday 14 August. Following Wednesday's fixture, Grant and his squad will travel to League One outfit Southend United on Tuesday before completing their preparations with the visit of Spanish Primera League club RC Deportivo La Coruna to the Boleyn Ground on Saturday 7 August.

• Kieron Dyer joined Ipswich Town as a child, signing as a trainee. He made his senior Ipswich Town debut in the 3-1 home Division One win over Crystal Palace on Boxing Day 1996. He went on to total 112 appearances and 12 goals over three seasons at Ipswich Town. He signed for Newcastle United for £6m in July 1999.

Kieron Dyer

Last meeting

• West Ham United last visited Ipswich for a pre-season fixture on 4 August 2008, when Dean Ashton scored a hat-trick in a 5-3 victory for the visitors. Craig Bellamy and Mark Noble were also on target.

The lineups were:

Ipswich Town: R Wright, D Wright, Balkestein (Bruce 65), McAuley, Smith, Shumulikoski, Haynes (Peters 82), Garvan (Miller 76), Counago (Rhodes 76), Lisbie (Lee 65), Quinn (Trotter 82)
Subs not used: Supple, Naylor

West Ham United: Green (Stech 60), Neill (c), Ferdinand (Davenport), Upson, Widdowson, Behrami (Mullins 62), Noble, Parker, Etherington (Reid 45), Bellamy (Hines 23), Ashton (Stanislas 83)
Subs not used: Stokes, Collison, Spence

• The most recent competitive meetings between the two clubs came in the Division One play-offs at the climax of the 2004/05 season. A 2-2 draw at the Boleyn Ground was followed by an unforgettable 2-0 win at Portman Road in the second leg.

Last time out

Wednesday 28 July 2010
Pre-season friendly
MK Dons 0-2 West Ham United
West Ham United: Green (Wessels 46), Tomkins, Gabbidon (Spector 46), Upson (Da Costa 46), Daprela (Ilunga 64), Kovac (Hitzlsperger 64), Parker (Noble 64), Diamanti (Faubert 64), Ben-Hatira (McCarthy 64), Stanislas (Boa Morte 64), Caraglio (Cole 64)
Sub not used: Sears
Goals: Faubert, Cole

Tuesday 29 July 2010
Pre-season friendly
Bury Town 0-1 Ipswich Town
Goal: McAuley

West Ham United

• Avram Grant's West Ham United will be aiming to continue the bright start they have made to their pre-season schedule, which has seen them defeat League One new boys Peterborough United (2-1) at London Road, German Bundesliga challengers VfL Borussia Monchengladbach (2-0) in Ruhpolding, Greek double winners Panathinaikos (1-0) in the Austrian town of Kitzbuhel and MK Dons (2-0) at stadium:mk.

• West Ham will continue their pre-season preparations with a Tuesday visit to League One side Southend United before completing their warm-up fixtures with the visit of Spanish Primera Division club RC Deportivo La Coruna to the Boleyn Ground for the SBOBET Cup tie on Saturday 7 August.

• Carlton Cole has been in fine form in pre-season, scoring in the victories over Peterborough, Monchengladbach and MK Dons with just 45 minute run-outs in each contest. Benni McCarthy also enjoyed a fine evening against the Germans, netting his first goal for the club with a fine half-volley.

• Thomas Hitzlsperger has made a bright start to his West Ham career following his summer arrival from SS Lazio, scoring his first goal for the club with a direct free-kick in the 1-0 victory over Panathinaikos.

• Julien Faubert is also off the mark this summer, netting the first against MK Dons in midweek, having assisted on McCarthy's goal against Monchengladbach.

• West Ham United have gone 311 minutes without conceding this summer since Peter Kurucz was beaten by Peterborough United's Dave Hibbert in the 49th minute of the meeting on 14 July. Since then there have been clean sheets against VfL Borussia Monchengladbach, Panathinaikos and MK Dons.

• Grant's side will kick-off their Premier League campaign with a trip to Aston Villa on Saturday 14 August.

Frederic Piquionne

Ipswich

• Roy Keane has seen plenty of activity in his squad this summer. Most recently, defender Alex Bruce has joined Leeds United this week with Owen Garvan and Jonathan Stead due to join Crystal Palace and Blackpool respectively.

• Republic of Ireland midfielder Mark Kennedy, a player Keane knows well, has joined from Cardiff City and got 45 minutes in the midweek 1-0 win against Bury Town, when Gareth McAuley scored the only goal midway through the second half.

• Keane is expected to give his youngsters a chance to shine this season, including highly-rated left-back Shane O'Connor.

• Ipswich will begin their Npower Championship campaign away to Middlesbrough on Saturday 7 August.

Team news

• West Ham United manager Avram Grant should give debuts to Pablo Barrera and Frederic Piquionne.

• Robert Green, Matthew Upson and Jonathan Spector should get their second run-outs of the summer after returning to action against Peterborough United on Wednesday. Valon Behrami is still being nursed back carefully although he has been in training.

• Triallist goalkeeper Stefan Wessels will not be involved, having left the club after a week of training and Grant is expected to stick with his first-team squad for the match.

• Kieron Dyer sat out in midweek to focus on strength work. The former Ipswich favourite is expected to get an extended run-out on Saturday.

• Freddie Sears, fresh from a four-goal haul for the reserves on Thursday, is also unlikely to figure while one of Marek Stech and Peter Kurucz will provide cover for Green in goal.

• Long-term injury absentees Zavon Hines and Jack Collison (both knee) will not be available.

• For Ipswich, Sunderland goalkeeper Marton Fulop has yet to complete his move so may not figure while Mark Kennedy may make his home bow after his move from Cardiff. Another former Sunderland man in Conor Hourihane may get his first taste of Portman Road, though.

• Most notably, Ipswich's highly-rated 17-year-old forward Connor Wickham, an England youth international, may not play again until September with an ankle problem while David Norris, the midfielder, is also out with a back problem. Winger Luciano Civelli will be out for two weeks with a knock.

General information

• The weather forecast is for a generally sunny day with some cloud. Temperatures are expected to peak at around 21C in the afternoon.

• Tickets are priced at £20 for adults, £15 for Over-60s, Under-20s, full-time students and disabled supporters, and £5 for Under-16s.