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Norwich City v Ipswich Town line-ups

The starting line-ups have been named for this lunchtime's East Anglia derby at Carrow Road in the Championship play-off semi-final second leg. The tie is finely poised after a 1-1 draw at Portman Road last Friday.

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Ipswich Town v Norwich City starting line-ups

Ipswich boss McCarthy loves the play-off excitement

Mick McCarthy is excited. Credit: PA

The play-off system has not been kind to Mick McCarthy, but the Ipswich manager remains a fan nonetheless.

McCarthy has lost Championship play-off ties while in charge of Millwall, Sunderland and Wolves and on Saturday he will embark on another attempt to win promotion via that route when East Anglia rivals Norwich visit Portman Road in the semi-final first leg.

I'm a big fan of the play-off system.

My record in them is not great, in fact I was the first to suffer disappointment when they were introduced. But I still think they're brilliant.

Everybody always wants to reinvent the world. It strikes me that it works perfectly well. If you finish third and you feel a bit peeved that you're playing the team that finished sixth and however many points behind you, well you knew that at the start of the season.

Finish second or first and then you don't have to whinge about the rules.

'The play-off system makes the league exciting. It keeps a good two thirds of the league fighting for something for the majority of the season.

– Mick McCarthy

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Norwich beat Ipswich in East Anglian derby

Bradley Johnson fired another fine goal as Norwich moved just three points away from the Championship summit by claiming derby honours at Carrow Road.

Johnson and Lewis Grabban netted in a richly deserved 2-0 victory over Ipswich, a sixth successive win for Norwich as they took full advantage of the defeats suffered by top two Derby and Middlesbrough on Saturday.

Lewis Grabban, right, celebrates his goal. Credit: PA

They now appear well placed to make an immediate return to the top flight, with new boss Alex Neil having instigated a stunning run of form since taking over in January.

Ipswich, meanwhile, have now slipped below their local rivals in the table, and on this evidence face a tough battle to overhaul them.