The Amex stadium is set to see fourth placed Brighton taking on sixth placed Ipswich on Tuesday evening as both sides look to push on for one of the automatic promotion spots in the Championship.
The unpredictable festive fixtures continue with a clash between two of the Championship’s playoff contenders. Brighton are currently in fourth place on 44 points while Ipswich are two places behind them, but with a seven point deficit.
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The home side are coming off the back of their goalless Boxing Day draw against Brentford, while Ipswich are looking to continue the momentum generated by beating QPR 2-1 in their last match.
A win could see the Seagulls return to the top of the table while an Ipswich victory could see them jump ahead of Burnley to claim fifth place in the league, so this game really could have a significant impact on the playoff/promtion places in the Championship.
With so much at stake there’s certainly plenty to play for.
The home side are set to be without on loan Man Utd striker James Wilson who will be absent due to illness
The exact nature of Wilson’s complaint hasn’t been disclosed but whatever it is forced him off at halftime in the Brentford Boxing Day contest. There is a chance Wilson could return, albeit it a small chance – he is set to undergo a last minute fitness test.
Brighton’s hopes are further damaged by the possible unavailability of captain Gordon Greer who is suffering from a hamstring complaint. Greer will also undergo an assessment close to kickoff.
The visitors have the option to name an unchanged starting XI. On the one hand, the Tractor Boys have benefited by the consistent team selection that Mick McCarthy has favoured.
On the other, Ryan Fraser could feature in the starting lineup due to an impressive Boxing Day performance.
David McGoldrick and Teddy Bishop will remain unavailable as they are both suffering from hamstring problems that will keep them out of action until after New Year’s Eve at the earliest.
Despite their impressive league position, former table toppers Brighton have managed only three draws and a loss in their last four Championship contests. Their last two victories came at the start of December, and even then they only managed a one goal margin of victory.
Ipswich, on the other hand, have managed four Championship wins in their last six contests, including away wins against Fulham, the MK Dons and Charlton.
Although Brighton are favoured, largely due to their home advantage, the momentum is with the Tractor Boys, and an upset win for the away team is far from impossible. Even though the Seagulls have lost only once this season the pressure is on them to respond, and with only one win in their last four in the Championship finding the net is becoming a problem.
The match should be an entertaining contest, which kicks off at 19:45.