Ipswich Town is closely monitoring the Saturday 3 pm kick-offs with anticipation, aiming to capitalize on a potential stumble by Leicester City against Watford. If Leicester falters, Ipswich Town could leapfrog them to claim the top spot in the Championship with a victory at the Hawthorns.
Despite Ipswich’s aspirations, West Bromwich Albion, under Carlos Corberan, presents a formidable challenge with their own promotion ambitions and a playoff spot within reach.
Ipswich’s manager, Kieran McKenna, may introduce strategic changes in the West Midlands to catch West Brom off-guard, contemplating the possibility of Nathan Broadhead being dropped after a subpar performance against Swansea City.
Broadhead, a key figure for Ipswich this season with six goals and one assist, encountered a rare off-day against Swansea. Struggling in the high-intensity match, he had just one shot, completing only 60% of his passes.
Despite his struggles, Ipswich secured a 3-2 win, with other teammates compensating for Broadhead’s below-par performance.
Considering Broadhead’s recent international duty with Wales, McKenna might opt to rest the 25-year-old for the Hawthorns clash. Wes Burns, a versatile option, could potentially step in as Broadhead’s replacement.
Although not a natural left-winger, Burns has expressed feeling “strong” after overcoming a shoulder problem. McKenna may rely on Burns, who played a pivotal role in Ipswich’s automatic promotion last season, contributing eight goals and 14 assists.
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Burns, earning £5k-per-week, has faced challenges in the second tier this season, managing only one goal and one assist in 12 games due to a lingering shoulder injury. Despite this, he showcased his impact off the bench against Swansea, providing three key passes in just 26 minutes.
While the possibility of both Burns and Broadhead starting together exists, McKenna might consider deploying Burns in the left-wing position for the West Brom match, given his recent form and recovery from injury.
The decision underscores the manager’s tactical flexibility and the importance of managing player fitness for the challenging Championship campaign.