City boss Bryan Gunn was this morning expecting a 'noisy and ferocious' atmosphere to be awaiting at the Canaries at Portman Road for one of the derby games of recent memory.
Defeat for the visitors would – depending on how the Forest and Barnsley games play out tomorrow – confirm City's place down among the dead-men of the Championship.
And with just two games left before the end of the season, should Ipswich win it would all-but demand that the Norfolk side claim maximum points from the home game against Reading and the away trip to a long-doomed Charlton Athletic on the final day of the season.
One of the many saving graces to last Monday's spirited 2-0 win over Watford was the fact that Norwich could not then be relegated at the hands of their nearest and dearest rivals on Sunday.
This particular grisly, survival tale is all set to run and run – right to the very final game of the season.
On the other side of the fence, however, and a Canary 'double' over the auld enemy could have big repurcussions as the natives grow ever more restless with regard to Jim Magilton's position.
The recent 3-1 home defeat by Doncaster Rovers had the 'We want Jim out!' brigade out in force; the two local newspapers have long been sharpening their knives and a defeat at Sunday lunchtime – and with it an opportunity to help the Canaries on their way to Yeovil next season lost – could be the one, final excuse they need to confront the club owner, Marcus Evans, head on and demand Magilton's head on a platter.
If nothing else, it's a great way to sell newspapers.
Throw in the return of ex-Town star Alan Lee to his former haunts – and all with something of an axe to grind after the manner in which he felt he was bundled out of the door last summer – and it is a rich and intoxicating mix that awaits all concerned this Sunday.
More than ever, faint hearts need to stay well away as two, famous old tribes renew their age-old rivalries.
“I'm certainly looking forward to the atmosphere,” the City chief told the Press this morning.
He has, of course, sampled that special derby atmosphere in its rawest of forms – even if the history books have Gunn's moment of Suffolk 'fame' down as a Robert Ullathorne og.
The fact that it is a lunchtime kick-off at the behest of the local police will, he sees, do little to dampen the 'welcome' that awaits.
“12.45pm kick-off? I don't think it'll be dampened by anything,” he said. “I think it'll be noisy and ferocious.”
The City chief also revealed that he will head south with a fully-fit squad to select from – or rather one that is only missing the three, longer-term casualties of a long and bitter campaign at the very foot of the Championship.
Dejan Stefanovoic, Carl Cort and Palace swap target Wes Hoolahan are the three to miss out; otherwise everyone was fit and ready for battle.
Down the road and Magilton's hand is not quite so healthy. Skipper Gareth McAuley was still only rated “50-50” and minus his height and physical presence at the back after he aggravated a hamstring injury in the wake of Northern Ireland's World Cup adventures, so the Town chief will be more than a mite concerned as to what Lee might get up to if left to run amok.
Top scorer Jon Stead is, at least, fit and available again; Jon Walters and the experienced David Wright also look set to be absent after both exited early in the 1-1 draw at Bristol City on Monday – a result that restored a degree of pride to the Town camp after that Rovers no-show.
For the Canaries, the one selection poser would be whether or not to give Lee Croft a start ahead of David Carney.
The City winger – whose derby strike in the home clash must be right up there in terms of the 'Goal of the Season' gong – has struggled with his form and fitness just of late and was maybe rushed back too soon for the Sheffield Wednesday game.
But, he could yet prove to be a big game player and might relish the chance to return to Gunn's starting line-up for such an occasion.
Otherwise, on the back of that 2-0 success against the Hornets that took Norwich above both Forest and Barnsley in the table, you would expect the team to pick itself.
Lee and the luckless David Mooney up front; Alan Gow wide to the left; Darel Russell and Sammy Clingan holding the fort in centre midfield and with the reborn centre-half pairing of skipper Gary Doherty and Jason Shackell defying all-comers in the heart of the City defence.
After that and it would be a simple case of 'Let battle commence…'