Paul Cook is in the dugout for the first time as Ipswich boss on Saturday as Gills prepare to lock horns with the promotion chasers.
Gillingham v Ipswich Town
Sky Bet League One
MEMS Priestfield Stadium
Saturday March 6
Steve Evans announced that Kyle Dempsey and Vadaine Oliver will need late fitness tests ahead of the game, but will be given every opportunity to show they are ready.
Callum Slattery had surgery on his injured ankle and will be out until the end of March as he recovers.
Kayden Jackson could be involved in the Ipswich matchday squad on Saturday after new manager Paul Cook said he had a clean slate.
Jon Nolan is set to miss the next two months after injuring his medial collateral ligament.
Steve Evans: “Paul Cook is a game-changer. It means that they’ll be fighting for the top two, never mind the play-offs.
“First and foremost, it’s the players on the coach coming to Priestfield on Saturday that will make it really tough for us. Then, in my personal opinion, the manager adds to that with his knowledge, professionalism, and understanding that he brings to Ipswich Town.”
Paul Cook: “The lads have given us a great chance. There are 16 games to play and we have to be confident.
“All I can promise is that I will do my absolute best. We have a strong support base and I, along with the other members of staff and players, will give it everything.”
Stuart O’Keefe: “They are a big side at this level and we expect nothing other than a tough game, but if we put it on them and do what we do and stick to our strengths then we can beat anyone in this league.
“We are looking forward to it. It’s a tough challenge but one we are excited about. Hopefully we can get a positive result.”
27/10/2020 - Ipswich Town 1-0 Gillingham - Sky Bet League One
06/10/2020 - Ipswich Town 2-0 Gillingham - Papa Johns Trophy
26/12/2019 - Ipswich Town 0-0 Gillingham - Sky Bet League One
08/10/2019 - Ipswich Town 4-0 Gillingham - EFL Trophy
21/09/2019 - Gillingham 0-1 Ipswich Town - Sky Bet League One
The last meeting at the MEMS Priestfield Stadium between the two sides came in September 2019. Kane Vincent-Young was the only scorer on the day as Ipswich won 1-0.
The Gills have never beaten Ipswich at home, but their last win was an entertaining one. They won 4-3 at Portman Road in 2003 in what turned out to be a back-and-forth game.
Ipswich lead the head-to-head with 12 wins to Gillingham’s two. There have also been 11 draws between the two sides.
Gillingham win - 15/8
Draw - 11/5
Ipswich Town win - 7/5
Special Bet: Jordan Graham to score first and Gillingham to win 2-1 - 40/1.
Referee: Graham Salisbury
Assistants: Joseph Stokes and Anthony Da Costa
Fourth Official: Kevin Johnson
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