Portman Road hosts visiting side Derby County on Saturday in a battle between two of the Championship’s playoff contenders.
Home side Ipswich are currently sixth in the Championship, occupying the last playoff place.
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They are only one point ahead of seventh placed Cardiff.
Retaining their playoff position will be difficult, as Derby have been impressive this season, amassing an impressive 43 points so far and the Championship’s best goal difference of 19.
Derby County are heavily favoured, a testament to how difficult it will be for Ipswich to retain their playoff position this weekend.
The Rams have now been undefeated in 15 of their last 16 games in the Championship, and are now mounting a serious challenge for the title.
Likewise for Mick Mccarthy’s Ipswich side who now find themselves in a good position in the playoff places as we move into a busy Christmas period.
Ipswich are on a two game winning streak in the Championship, having beaten Fulham earlier in the week and MK Dons this past weekend.
Both wins came away from home, showing that Ipswich do have quality, at least at times.
In their last two home matches in the league, the Tractor Boys have managed only a loss and a draw, against Middlesbrough and Wolves respectively.
Derby will prove a tougher test than either of those sides, making Saturday’s match a difficult occasion in which to repair their home form.
Ipswich manager Mick McCarthy will be hoping the return of players Luke Varney, Kevin Bru, Ryan Fraser and Christophe Berra will give his side the best chance of building on the momentum generated against Fulham.
Derby are coming off the back of a 4-0 destruction of Bristol City, albeit at home. The Rams’ last loss came at the start of November, 1-0 away at Nottingham Forest.
Derby also dropped points away at Sheffield Wednesday at the start of this month.
Derby are set to be without midfielder Jeff Hendrick who has an ankle problem and was substituted in the midweek game against Bristol City.
Derby will have their leading scorer Chris Martin available. Martin has a great record against Ipswich and will be looking to score in his third consecutive game against the home side.
Ipswich’s uninspiring form, coupled with Derby’s accurate passing game, will prove a tough test for McCarthy’s men to overcome.
If Cardiff manage to beat Birmingham away on Friday night then there will be added pressure on Ipswich to produce a result.
Keeping Chris Martin contained will be a huge key to the game, as will slowing down a confident Tom Ince, who managed to score his first hattrick earlier this week.
Ultimately, Derby are a real threat, and a draw might be the best realistic outcome that Ipswich can hope for.