IPSWICH Town, Accrington Stanley and the national spotlight. An unusual, surprising blend.

The three have gone hand in hand on two occasions this year.

On the first, Town found themselves plunged into the limelight after their annual FA Cup debacle, losing 1-0 at the Wham Stadium in January.

It was a shock of sorts, with Paul Lambert's Blues clinging to their Championship status at the time and the Lancastrians in League One.

In truth, there was more than a whiff of inevitability about the setback. More a stench.

Nevertheless, it was another kick in the teeth and one that created headlines throughout the football world. Understandably so.

Now the sides are set to meet for a second time and, once again, all eyes will be on Town and Stanley.

Strangely, the match has been cherry-picked by Sky TV and will be beamed live at high noon on Sunday.

It might not be an obvious choice for coverage but, with the football world again looking in, it gives Ipswich the chance to shine on a big stage. To exorcise the demons of January.

The sides may be meeting at the same venue but Town are in a very different place, compared to the turn of 2019.

In every respect, things could barely be more contrasting.

Lambert's men are flying and it's not often (these days, at least) that Ipswich are mentioned in the same breath as Liverpool... the only sides still unbeaten across the Premier League and Football League.

Can Town consolidate their position at the summit this weekend?

They'll certainly still be in pole position, given their four-point lead over second-placed Wycombe.

And on current form, it's impossible to go into any match feeling anything less than bullish and confident.

The stats at both ends of the pitch support that stance, although Town will undoubtedly miss James Wilson.

The Welshman has established himself as an unlikely hero, having signed on a free transfer just before the season kicked off, but is suspended for Sunday.

Up front, it's a big day for livewire striker Kayden Jackson.

With six goals to his name already, including one in each of the last two league games, you sense the script could be written for him to score against his former employers.

He and Town will certainly hope so and how great would it be to see the club shining in the national spotlight?

Rejoicing rather than red-faced. A far cry from January.