Birmingham City travel to Ipswich Town on Tuesday with the knowledge that a point could be good enough to book a play-off place but all 3 points would virtually assure them of extending their season for at least another 2 games. Chris Hughton’s team would of preferred to have things settled by now but they came up against a spirited Bristol City side at the weekend and did well to come back from 2 goals down to grab an all important point. Blues away form in recent weeks could not be any better after winning 2 and drawing 1 of their last 3 away games scoring 9 goals in the process so they will be going into this full of confidence against a Ipswich team that has got little to play for but pride. Ipswich Town boss Paul Jewell however will want his team to finish the season on a high after failing to make it to the play off’s, they have had an impressive home record since the turn of the year winning 6, drawing 2 and losing 1 so they will be looking to improve on that with another victory against their promotion chasing rivals. History of this fixture points to a 1-0 scoreline for either team since 6 of the last 7 meetings at Portman Road since 1997 have ended in that score with 3 wins each and a 1-1 draw being the other so goals could be at a premium if history is anything to go by. With Birmingham scoring for fun away from St Andrews combined with needing a result more than their rivals could mean we are in for a more open game than in the past, which in turn will lead to a few goals for the travelling Bluenose’s who make the long journey East to enjoy.
Ipswich Town manager Paul Jewell will have a near full squad to select from with only Jimmy Bullard (ill) and Richard Wright (knee) looking the likely absentee’s so he could be set to name an unchanged team from the one that got a draw away at Crystal Palace on Saturday and will have ex-Birmingham favourite Lee Bowyer on the bench for the game.
“Over the last five or six games we’ve had bags of possession but not had enough to show for it in terms of goals and that’s something we have to put right.”
Birmingham City boss Chris Hughton has got a few injuries to contend with and has had to recall young goalkeeper Jack Butland from his loan deal at Cheltenham Town because of the injury picked up by Boaz Myhill in the pre-match warm up v Bristol City and will be on the bench for the game with Colin Doyle taking over between the posts again. With Keith Fahey (groin), Guirane N’Daw (hamstring) also possibly Jordan Mutch(ankle) joining long term missing Stephen Carr and Jonathan Spector the manager will have to juggle the pack again especially in the middle of the park. This could mean Blues fans seeing a rare starts for Morgaro Gomis and Wade Elliott in the centre of midfield along with young Belgian under-19 international midfielder Brice Ntambwe being drafted into the squad.
“We’ve got three very tough games and, of course, you’re always looking over your shoulder and hoping that some of the results go well for you. But you have to look after your own business and we will need to get points from these remaining three games.”
Stats Head to Head : @ Ipswich
Ipswich won 22 …Birmingham won 10 …Drawn 1
Ipswich Town : Lee-Barrett, Edwards, Smith, Delaney, Cresswell, Leadbitter, Drury, Emanuel-Thomas, Martin, Murphy, Scotland
Birmingham City : Doyle, Ramage, Davies, Caldwell, Murphy, Townsend, Elliott, Gomis, Burke, Zigic, King
Referee : Darren Sheldrake
Prediction : Ipswich Town 1 .. Birmingham City 2
By Blues Brother (Member of birminghamcityforum.co.uk )