Coventry City face Ipswich Town at Portman Road on Saturday, in what is arguably the hardest fixture in the league at the moment.
Whilst the Tractor Boys are second in the Championship following their return to the second tier, they do boast the best home record in the division, having won eight of their nine games on their own patch, with Leeds the only side to avoid defeat when they edged a seven-goal thriller in Suffolk.
So, even though Mark Robins’ side are in high spirits after successive victories, this will be a stern test as they look to continue to climb the table.
Conor Chaplin can make the difference for Ipswich
As you would expect for a side that are occupying an automatic promotion place, there’s a lot to like about Ipswich right now.
Leif Davis is a constant threat down the left flank, Sam Morsy and Massino Luongo are a fine partnership in the middle of the park, and George Hirst leads the line well.
However, one man who deserves a special mention is Conor Chaplin, with the forward having scored seven and recorded four assists so far this season.
Coventry know all about the 26-year-old, as he was signed by the Sky Blues earlier in his career, but, for whatever reason, it didn’t really work out for him in the Midlands, even if he was by no means poor.
The attacker was moved on after a year, and whilst he went on to show flashes of his undoubted quality over the next few seasons, it wasn’t exactly a decision Coventry were kicking themselves over.
But, it’s a different story now, with Chaplin transformed since Kieran McKenna arrived at Ipswich.
The former Barnsley man scored 26 times to help the side to promotion last season, and he has handled the step up with ease.
We’ve already discussed his figures this season, but that doesn’t tell the whole story, as Chaplin is scoring quality goals, and he retains a great work-rate and intensity off the ball that helps set the tone for the pressing game.
Conor Chaplin can cause problems for Coventry
Robins will have done his homework on exactly where Ipswich excel, and you can be sure that he has recognised the importance of Chaplin to McKenna’s side.
The Sky Blues chief has already had his say on Chaplin, and he was full of credit for him as a player, and sometimes transfers just don’t work out.
On the whole, Coventry have done excellent business over the years, which has played a part in their rise back up the Football League.
However, like all clubs, there will be transfers that don’t look as smart in hindsight, and Chaplin’s departure certainly falls into that category now.
Some Coventry fans will find it hard to believe the player they saw pulling on their shirt in League One in the 18/19 campaign is now one of the best outside the top-flight, but that is the case, and stopping Chaplin will be pivotal if they are to pick up three points at Portman Road