West Bromwich Albion will face a depleted Ipswich Town side at Portman Road tonight as they attempt to reach their first League Cup semi-final since 1982. Ipswich are without four cup-tied players and at least another four injured, obliging under-pressure manager Roy Keane to field another youthful XI. Keane, whose side lost 4-1 to Norwich in the East Anglian derby on Sunday, admitted: "I don't really have any choice."
Loanees Jack Colback, Jake Livermore, Gianni Zuiverloon and Rory Fallon are all ineligible for tonight's game, while Damien Delaney is suspended having been sent off at Carrow Road. Furthermore, young striker Connor Wickham is injured, as are Luke Hyam, Gareth McAuley and Mark Kennedy. Goalkeeper Marton Fulop, recruited from Sunderland in the summer, is a doubt with an ankle injury.
This forces Keane into selecting an inexperienced side for Ipswich's first quarter-final for nine years. "I'll be going with a young team, once again," he said. "I haven't been too pleased about that, over the last month or two, because we have been playing too many young players at the same time. But I don't really have any choice."
Ipswich have lost eight of their last 12 games and after their derby defeat they have slipped to 17th place in the Championship. But West Brom midfielder Chris Brunt acknowledges that it will still be a difficult match. "It's going to a tough game," said the Ulsterman. "Ipswich will be up for it as it's a chance of Championship club getting closer to Wembley. They're going to be all guns blazing for us, it's up to us to go there and put in a professional performance to try to get a result."
Brunt expects his manager Roberto di Matteo to continue with his policy of rotating the team in the Carling Cup, an approach that has allowed Somen Tchoyi to start more than he otherwise might have done. Tchoyi has scored three goals in his past five games and hopes to secure a more regular place in the team. "I want to play," said the Cameroonian. "I came to England to play in the big league. I am working hard for the team and to try and get more time on the pitch."
West Brom will be without Youssuf Mulumbu who was sent off for the second time this season in the 4-1 win at Everton on Saturday.
Ipswich Town (possible, 4-4-2): Murphy; Peters, Smith, O'Dea, O'Connor; Edwards, Norris, Leadbitter, Townsend; Priskin, Scotland.
West Bromwich Albion (possible, 4-2-3-1): Myhill; Jara, Meite, Ibanez, Cech; Tchoyi, Scharner; Barnes, Dorrans, Cox; Fortune.