Buidling Dreams Together


Norwich City v Ipswich Town – A derby day with the billing of a World Cup final.

Norwich City welcome Ipswich Town to Carrow Road this Saturday, 6April, in what will be one of the biggest East Anglian derbies in recent history. Three points for David Wagner’s Canaries will see his side with a strong grip on the play-off places, whilst three points for Kieran McKenna’s Tractor Boys will see them firmly place one hand on the Championship trophy and will put them within no shadow of a doubt of a return to the Premier League, and back-to-back promotions.

The history of the derby

The Norwich City and Ipswich Town players getting involved in a fight at Carrow Road, in the sides' latest meeting back in 2019. Image via: PA Images
The passion of the players in this historic derby cannot be understated – Image via: PA Images

The two sides first met in November 1905, where both the sides were still competing at an amateur level, and the first professional setting for this historic derby came in 1939. The most recent derby match came in December 2023, with Wagner’s side holding on to a 2-2 draw at Portman Road, courtesy of two sensational strikes from Norwich’s young winger Jonathan Rowe. Ipswich have not won a derby match in the last 14 years, with their last victory over Norwich City coming in April 2009. The winner of this historic derby match is deemed: “The Pride of Anglia”. The derby is also referred to as “The Old Farm”, a reference to the “Old Firm” derby between Scottish Premiership sides Rangers and Celtic, with both sides honing their craft in the old city of Glasgow.

The Football Rivalries Report of 2008 stated that the East Anglian derby is the second-fiercest derby in the country, after the Black Country derby between West Bromwich Albion and Wolverhampton Wanderers. The report deemed that: “The gap of 40 miles doesn’t make those East Anglian derbies any less intense.”

The author of The Old Farm, Rob Hadgraft believes that due to the size of the clubs in their counties, Norwich representing Norfolk and Ipswich representing Suffolk, that these two clubs represent their entire county in the derby fixtures, and with each side being the only professional club in their respective counties. Hadgraft also suggests that: “The people live up to 40 miles apart, so they don’t mingle and have pals who support the other lot.”

“You’ve got two sets of fans who never really mingle or mix, and there’s no proper friendships. They really do despise each other.”

Norwich City fans celebrating the winning goal at Portman Road in October 2017. Image via @AwayDays_ on Twitter (X)
Norwich City fans celebrating the winning goal at Portman Road in October 2017. Image via @AwayDays_ on Twitter (X)

Pre-match roundup

Norwich manager David Wagner (left) post-match with Ipswich manager Kieran McKenna (right). Image via: East Anglian Daily Times
Norwich manager David Wagner (left) post-match with Ipswich manager Kieran McKenna (right). Image via: East Anglian Daily Times

Starting with the hosts, Norwich City, head coach David Wagner has confirmed that star winger Jonathan Rowe, who was crucial in the December 2023 encounter, will not be available, as the young winger is still in the recovery stage of an ankle injury suffered back in February 2024. Jacob Sorensen, a versatile player across the back-line and the midfield, will also miss out on the derby clash with a hamstring injury.

Kieran McKenna’s side only have one major doubt going into the fixture, with Welsh striker Kieffer Moore, who was linked with a move to Norwich back in the summer transfer window, suffering a back spasm. Winger Wes Burns will also miss the game after suffering an injury earlier this season, with the Welsh winger due to have another scan later this week.

Norwich come into the derby game on the back of a disappointing 3-1 defeat to Leicester City at the King Power Stadium, with the Canaries opening the scoring through Brazilian midfielder Gabriel Sara, before a disappointing defensive display saw the Foxes capitalise on their weaker opposition. Wagner believes that his side were disappointing, with the side not “on our best.”

Ipswich, on the other hand, come into the game after a resounding 3-2 win over play-off pushing Southampton, with Russell Martin’s side leading 2-1 at half-time, with the Tractor Boys turning the game around and securing all three points courtesy of a Jeremy Sarmiento 97th-minute winner. McKenna described his sides’ performance as one of: “Spirit, bravery and quality.”

With both sides knowing that a win here will be crucial not only for bragging rights, but also the possibility of playing in the greatest league in the world, this fixture is sure to be one of the biggest of the Sky Bet Championship season, with huge prizes and potential riches awaiting for the winner of this heated contest.

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