Having returned to winning ways against Derby on Saturday, Ipswich look to get back to winning ways on the road against second-place Birmingham. Last time Town played away from Portman Road, they were somewhat embarrassed by lowly Doncaster.
Against Derby though, the Blues were much brighter and the win was emphatic as a 2-0 win can be. Ipswich looked far deadlier on the ball than they had against Donny, and the strikers proved they had hunger for goals as the pairing of Pablo Counago and Jon Walters both grabbed a goal.
Birmingham have had an extra day’s rest than Town, having defeated Swansea City 3-2 at the Liberty Stadium on Friday night.
From the Dugouts:
Manager Jim Magilton hinted at Alex Bruce keeping his starting place, against his dad Steve’s old club: ‘Alex Bruce has nothing to prove to me. I just want him focused on what he is doing for this team. Alex is experienced enough now not to think of anything other than what he is doing in this game for us.’
And the Irishman is also happy with his side’s performances of late: ‘The quality of our performances have improved and I think there’s still more to come.
‘I think they’ve got real strength-in-depth, a lot of players with Premier League experience and they’ve adapted quickly to Championship football again.’
Birmingham City Team News:
Birmingham have midfield engine Nigel Quashie available after serving a one-match ban while David Murphy is expected to be used at some point as he steps up his recovery from injury.
However, Stephen Kelly and Gary McSheffrey are both out with thigh and knee problems respectively. Garry O’Connor is also out with a groin injury and Damien Johnson continues to be unavailable with a back problem.
Player to watch: Marcus Bent
Ipswich Town Team News:
Ipswich could welcome back full-back Mortiz Volz from a one-game ban after picking up his fifth booking of the season against Doncaster. Skipper Gareth McAuley could also return despite missing the game at the Keepmoat and against Derby on Saturday.
The team will have at least one change, with David Norris being ruled out after suffering a dead leg on Saturday. Alan Quinn is likely to return to the side, and Jon Walters could move to the right.
Player to watch: Veliche Shumulikoski
The Macedonian had a fantastic game on Saturday and will have a busy night defending Brum’s well-armoured strikeforce.
Mr Shoebridge is the man in the middle for tonight’s game. The referee from Derbyshire will be hoping that he won’t have to be replaced through injury unlike the official on Saturday against Derby.
Unfortunately, I think Birmingham have done well to adapt back to life in the Championship having been relegated last season. They have a team full of quality Championship players all over the pitch and I can perhaps only see Town sneaking a draw, but have a bad feeling we will lose 2-1.
…Town are at home to Sheffield United on Saturday.