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East Anglian derby: Your guide to Sunday's big clash at Portman Road

It's a fixture that's been talked about since the Championship fixtures were released back in June, but the wait for Ipswich Town and Norwich City fans is nearly over.

The East Anglian derby returns to Portman Road on Sunday where local bragging rights will be on the line once again.

Norwich have certainly had the upper hand in recent years, but Ipswich will be more desperate than ever to taste victory having not won a derby since 2009.

Here's our guide of what to expect...

  • Players to watch
Number nines Martyn Waghorn (left) and Nélson Oliveira (right) are both big threats. Credit: PA

Ipswich found goals hard to come by last season, but it's been a completely different story this time around.

Town are one of the top-scoring teams in the division and much of that is down to the form of new striker Martyn Waghorn who's made a big impact since joining from Rangers in the summer.

The 27-year-old's already found the back of the net on six occasions and has big game experience having previously featured in Old Firm derbies against Celtic.

His performances have also brought the best out of fellow forward David McGoldrick who's had a productive campaign so far in front of goal himself, and their partnership could be key if Ipswich are to get a positive result.

You can be certain that Norwich striker Nélson Oliveira will receive a hostile reception at Portman Road following his pre-match comments in which he suggested that the Canaries have "better players" and are a "better club" than their East Anglian rivals.

On the pitch though, Oliveira has let his ability do the talking and has the best goal to game ratio in The Championship so far this season (a goal every 87 minutes).

An ongoing groin problem could mean that he has to settle for a place on the bench, but if he does get on, the Portuguese international has the quality to make the difference.

  • Form guide
Ipswich Town lost their last game at Sheffield United, while Norwich City bagged a last-minute point against Hull City. Credit: PA

Ipswich started the season like a house on fire but the wins have dried up in recent weeks.

In fact, they've now lost five of their last seven league games - a run which has seen them drop to 10th.

Their form at Portman Road has been better though, having won two of their last three home matches - including a recent 5-2 thrashing of Sunderland.

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As for Norwich, they're currently on an unbeaten eight-match run, although they needed a last minute equaliser to salvage a point in their last game against Hull City.

A newly-found resilience at the back has been the key to the success, and they even set a new club record when they kept five consecutive clean sheets for the first time in their history in September.

The Canaries have also won their last three away games, beating Sheffield United, Middlesbrough and Reading to move to within touching distance of the top six.

  • The view from the players
Jonas Knudsen (left) scored in both derby games last season, while Angus Gunn (right) is preparing to play in his first. Credit: PA

Ipswich left-back Jonas Knudsen is no stranger to the East Anglian derby, having scored in both games last season, and he's called on the Blues fans to create an intimidating atmosphere.

“It makes such a difference having the crowd behind you” he said.

“I hope Portman Road will be packed. It gives you that extra bit of determination.

“It has to be clear on Sunday that it’s our ground and I’m sure that will be the case.

“We know how important this game is to the fans. They can be our 12th man so we need to be ready.”

Although Norwich goalkeeper Angus Gunn is yet to experience a derby himself, his dad Bryan has played in plenty and has warned him what to expect.

"He's said a few things which can't be repeated!", Gunn said.

"We've spoken about it in the dressing room and everyone is looking forward to the game. All the lads can see what it's about so we're just eager to get onto the pitch now.

"Hopefully we can come out on the right side, then we'll all be happy. Our away form has been good so that gives us great confidence going into the match. We're looking to go there and take the three points."

  • The view from the managers
  • Who are the favourites? (odds courtesy of Sky Bet)
Norwich City are the favourites for Sunday's game. Credit: PA

Norwich go into the game as the marginal favourites with the bookies (23/20), with their recent derby record and good form standing them in good stead.

One unknown quantity though is how Head Coach Daniel Farke will deal with the occasion compared to his more experienced counterpart Mick McCarthy, while a big overhaul at Carrow Road over the summer means many Norwich players will be taking part in their first ever derby on Sunday.

In comparison, Ipswich have far more players who are used to the occasion and they can be backed at 9/4. The draw is a 5/2 shot.

Ipswich Town v Norwich City, Sky Bet Championship, Sunday 22 October, 12:00