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Ipswich Town v Birmingham City Preview and Team News - Tractor Boys look to build on mid-week win

Rippa Staff 18 Sep 2015
Jonathan Douglas of Ipswich

Ipswich Town are looking to build on their midweek win over Leeds United as they welcome Birmingham City to Portman Road this Friday night.

Ipswich v Birmingham will be played at Portman Road with kick off scheduled for 4.45am AEST Saturday morning (7.45pm Friday BST). The game will be available to stream live online.



Preview

Ipswich Town have a lot to thank manager Mick McCarthy for. The former Republic of Ireland boss has galvanised the whole club and taken them from stagnating in the bottom half of the division to dreaming of a place back in the top tier for the first time in over ten years and they even managed to finish in the play-offs last season.

This time around, the aim will once again be play-offs as a minimum and the Tractor Boys have made a good start, with Tuesday night's impressive away win over a previously unbeaten Leeds United side taking the Suffolk club into fifth position.

The visitors to Portman Road are another club that have a lot to be thankful for to their current manager. After surviving relegation from the second tier on the final day the season before last and starting the 2014/2015 campaign in awful form, the appointment of ex-player Gary Rowett has energised Birmingham City.

Now, the Midlands club have their sights set firmly on a play-off spot this season following some fine form in patches last term. Early wins over the likes of Bristol City and Reading will have boosted confidence on their part.

Expect some goals in this clash. Birmingham may have drawn a blank in their unexpected midweek defeat at home to Nottingham Forest, but they've been scoring some goals before that, scoring at least once in their other seven fixtures and smashing four past Bristol City, with Clayton Donaldson bagging a brace in that clash.

But Ipswich Town have one of the most impressive forward lines in the division. Freddie Sears has kept the momentum from last season to keep on scoring in the early stages of this one and Brett Pitman, Daryl Murphy and David McGoldrick provide real competition for places up top.

That man Sears has proven to be an invaluable addition to the Ipswich squad. The former West Ham youngster enjoyed a very fruitful few years with Colchester United in League One before moving to Portman Road last January and firing in nine goals in just 16 starts in his first months with the Suffolk club.

Last year's top scorer in the whole division was Daryl Murphy by a commanding six goals but so far this year the Republic of Ireland international has been overshadowed by Sears, who has fired in four goals in just six league matches, including two in his last two. 

This should be an entertaining Championship fixture under the Friday night lights. Birmingham need to bounce back from their home defeat to the Tricky Trees in midweek while Ipswich are looking to gather some momentum and show that they're capable of earning an automatic promotion spot this term.



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Ipswich Town v Birmingham City Preview and Team News - Tractor Boys look to build on mid-week win

Ipswich Town are looking to build on their midweek win over Leeds United as they welcome Birmingham City to Portman Road this Friday night.

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