Ipswich Town welcome Nottingham Forest to Portman Road this afternoon looking for back-to-back victories in the Sky Bet Championship following a recent dip in form.
Prior to their victory over Huddersfield Town last time out, Mick McCarthy’s side suffered three straight defeats that opened up the opportunity for the chasing Championship sides to go ahead of them in the race for the play-offs.
The Tractor Boys will be encouraged by Forest’s similar poor form, in which they have lost their last three games in the league, two of which being at home.
The confidence of Dougie Freedman’s side has deflated hugely after Huddersfield Town ended their 13 game unbeaten run with a 2-0 win at the City Ground three weeks ago.
The last time these sides met in October, it ended 1-1 after Jonathan Parr gave Ipswich the lead, but Liam Trotter scraped a point for Forest on his debut for the club.
With Forest looking too far behind in the play-off chase, Ipswich will be looking to continue Forest’s winless streak today with a victory that could put them within one point of the top six.
A victory for Forest could see them climb four places into 11th, depending on other results this afternoon.
FootballLeagueWorld writer Ashley Williams identifies THREE things to look out for in this afternoon’s game…
1) Can Forest end their torrid run?
Nottingham Forest have lost their last three Championship games and, if they lose again today, that will be the first time that they have lost four games in a row since December 2011.
They will be looking to end that today, as the defeat to Huddersfield Town a few weeks ago has really dampened the side’s spirits after going on a tremendous 13 game undefeated run, and one that gave them hope of chasing down the top six.
This game is expected to be a tight affair, but Ipswich will come into the game as favourites after they reignited their confidence last weekend.
Forest boss Freedman will want a fresh start, and will be hoping for a positive performance.
2) Luke Chambers vs Ben Osborn
Today will be the battle of two of the most reliable players in the division this season.
The former Forest player Luke Chambers has shown why he has been one of the most consistent performers for the club this season after an excellent season at right-back for Ipswich.
It will be an interesting affair when he comes up against Ben Osborn, who has excelled this season in a position that doesn’t come naturally to him.
The midfielder’s displays on the left flank have been one of the most positive aspects of Forest’s season. It is expected to be a interesting battle down one side of the pitch this afternoon.
3) Ipswich injury worries
McCarthy has been tight-lipped over injuries ahead of today’s game.
Luke Hyam is fit to play despite struggling with calf trouble in recent weeks, but McCarthy says there are a few other issues that he’s waiting on, and wants to give his players as long as possible to recover.
Cole Skuse is definitely ruled out of today’s clash but is expected to be back for Tuesday’s trip to Bolton Wanderers after the midfielder injured toe ligaments at QPR last month.
David McGoldrick and Teddy Bishop are unlikely to be risked for today’s game, although they have been back in training with the first team this week.
Ipswich and Forest fans… Can Ipswich get their play-off ambitions back on track? Can Forest end their winless run? Are you going to the game today? Let us know your thoughts and opinions in the comments below!