Preview: Ipswich Town vs. Fulham - prediction, team news, lineups
League One outfit Ipswich Town will welcome Premier League side Fulham to Portman Road for the second round of the 2020-21 EFL Cup.
The two sides have endured contrasting starts to their league campaigns, with Ipswich defeating Wigan Athletic, while Fulham were outclassed by Arsenal at the weekend.
Despite falling to defeat in their final four games of the 2019-20 League One season, Ipswich laid down a marker ahead of the rest of the new campaign as they comfortably swept aside Wigan, who were recently relegated from the Championship amid financial troubles.
Paul Lambert will want to see his team keep that momentum going as they push for a playoff berth this time around, but Ipswich will have to push their league exploits to one side for now as they bid to reach the third round of the EFL Cup for the first time since the 2015-16 campaign.
The Tractor Boys eased past fellow League One contenders Bristol Rovers 3-0 in the first round, and Ipswich will meet the Pirates once again in the third tier at the weekend following their midweek clash with Fulham.
Ipswich's recent record in this competition is nothing to write home about - Lambert's side were knocked out in the first round to Exeter City in 2018-19 and to Luton Town last season.
The Tractor Boys have never appeared in the EFL Cup final but did manage to make the last four of the 2010-11 tournament, where they defeated Arsenal 1-0 at Portman Road before succumbing to a 3-0 defeat at the Emirates in the second leg.
Meanwhile, Fulham received a harsh welcome back to life in the big time as they were put to the sword by Arsenal, who stormed to a 3-0 victory in the London derby on Saturday.
The Cottagers showed signs of promise in the game and will no doubt be heading into the midweek showdown with Ipswich feeling confident of advancing to round three, but Scott Parker will be aware that his side cannot afford to underestimate their League One opponents.
As is the case with Ipswich, Fulham are yet to step out onto the pitch for an EFL Cup final, and the Cottagers were knocked out by Southampton at this stage of the competition last season.
Fulham have reached the quarter-finals of the tournament twice in the 2000-01 and 2004-05 campaigns, but the Cottagers were sent packing by Liverpool and Chelsea respectively.
Ipswich have fallen to defeat in their last four meetings with Fulham when both clubs played in the Championship, and the two sides have met twice previously in the 1973-94 and 1995-96 League Cups, with Ipswich knocking out the Cottagers on both occasions.
Ipswich EFL Cup form: W
Ipswich form (all competitions): WLW
Fulham form (all competitions): L
Ipswich will be hopeful of having centre-back Luke Woolfenden available for the visit of Fulham, the 21-year-old having missed out against Wigan after picking up an injury in training.
Gwion Edwards came off the bench to bag the second for Lambert's side against the Latics and will be hopeful of earning a start here.
Flynn Downes continues to be linked with a move away from Portman Road and may not be involved in this one.
As for Fulham, the Cottagers are expected to welcome several new signings to the starting lineup for Wednesday's showdown.
Goalkeeper Alphonse Areola and full-back Kenny Tete could feature from the first whistle having recently arrived in the capital, while Parker has also hinted that Ola Aina and Mario Lemina will be involved in some capacity.
Aleksandar Mitrovic came off the bench for the final 30 minutes of Fulham's defeat to Arsenal and should come back to lead the line here.
Ipswich possible starting lineup:
Holy; Chambers, Woolfenden, Wilson, Kenlock; Dozzell, Bishop, Nolan; Judge, Drinan, Edwards
Fulham possible starting lineup:
Areola; Tete, Ream, Hector, Aina; Lemina, Cairney; Knockaert, Onomah, Reid; Mitrovic
We say: Ipswich 1-3 Fulham
Even though Ipswich got off to a winning start in their league campaign while Fulham fell to defeat, the Cottagers have a strong recent record against their midweek opponents and are set to include a number of new and exciting arrivals in their starting lineup, so we expect Parker's men to prevail and book their spot in the third round.
Top betting tip
Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting an away win in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Away Win:curl