Saturday’s match in Ipswich, as Michael Beale highlighted in his recent press conference, was a game decided by narrow margins. However, this outcome was a consequence of our strategic approach to the match.

Our team selection and defensive strategy restricted our attacking prowess against an Ipswich side missing several key players. We failed to capitalize on this advantage. While it’s possible to point out missed opportunities and unnecessary fouls, perhaps it shouldn’t have come down to those moments.

On a personal note, I couldn’t comprehend the decision to bench Nazariy Rusyn. Considering he was dropped, I would be surprised if he makes a return to the team tonight, but uncertainties remain.

Here’s my speculation on Beale’s potential lineup for tonight, and if it aligns with my expectations, I would be genuinely concerned about securing a victory. However, only time will tell.

Goalkeeper: Anthony Patterson
Patterson, who has been linked with Liverpool this week, will undoubtedly aim to impress any scouts observing him. While I don’t anticipate a move during this window, increased interest may emerge in the summer.

Defenders: Jenson Seelt, Luke O’Nien, Dan Ballard, Trai Hume
With Aji Alese nursing an injury, it’s unlikely we’ll take the risk. If Alese is sidelined, Hume will probably shift to left back, and Seelt will step into the defense. Timothée Pembélé is an alternative, but Beale might prefer him gaining match fitness in the U21s, given his performance against Preston. Personally, I’d position Seelt in the middle with O’Nien at full back, though it might be the opposite according to expectations.

Midfield: Dan Neil, Pierre Ekwah
While another central midfield option is needed, we are likely to start with Neil and Ekwah in this role. Despite Neil’s impressive performance last weekend, Ekwah’s inconsistency continues to be a concern.

Attack: Abdoullah Ba, Alex Pritchard, Jobe Bellingham, Jack Clarke
The decision to exclude Rusyn after his goal against Preston is perplexing to me. We’ve struggled for a goal scorer throughout the year, and Rusyn delivered, played well, yet was dropped for the subsequent league game. It’s difficult to fathom. Considering the recent drop, I don’t see Rusyn making the cut today. Therefore, I predict an unchanged forward line, with Pritchard and Jobe leading the attack, the latter of whom appears in need of a break.

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