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Match Previews

PREVIEW: BIRMINGHAM V TOWN

22 January 2016

Freddie Sears is going into the game with another promotion rival in a confident mood, but insists his side are focussed

Freddie Sears insists Town will be going into Saturday’s game against Birmingham in a confident mood, although he believes it will be an important game should the Blues be looking to make the Play-Offs.

Mick McCarthy’s side go into the game looking to extend an unbeaten away run in the league to eight matches, but Sears is sure Town will be fully prepared on the task in hand.

“We’re looking forward to it and we’ll go in confident,” he told Ipswich Player HD.

“We’ll watch the DVD’s before the match on how they play and what they do so we’ll go there ready for the game.

“It’s a big game for us. We want to be in that top-six and we’re facing another team who are challenging. There’s Sheffield Wednesday, Birmingham and ourselves who are fighting for that spot so hopefully we can get a good result to push on.

“We’re still within touching distance of everyone but you’ve got to expect a tough top-six and there’s going to be teams down to around 12th trying to get in.

“It’s a really good challenge for us to have and there’s 19 games to go, so hopefully we can do what we did last season.”

Team News

Town

New defensive signing, Kevin Foley will travel to St. Andrews tomorrow with a view to being involved in his first matchday squad since signing for the club, but David McGoldrick and Teddy Bishop remain out. After the midweek FA Cup exit to Portsmouth, the gaffer is likely to make 11 changes to his side again, with a number of regulars returning.

Birmingham

Gary Rowett will likely be without creative midfielder, Andrew Shinnie for the visit of Town as he looks to be joining Rotherham on loan. Koby Arthur has returned to training following his long injury lay-off, but is still a severe doubt for tomorrow’s game. David Cotterill and Neil Eardley remain out.

Latest from www.itfc.co.uk:

Where They Stand
Last Time They Metth
Birmingham – 8th
Town – 7

A Brett Pitman penalty helped Town to a draw when these sides last faced off back in September at Portman Road. David Cotterill fired the visitors into the lead with little over 20 minutes on the clock as he slammed the ball high into the roof of the net after being slipped in by Andrew Shinnie. Town won what turned out to be the equalising spot-kick ten minutes later as Ainsley Maitland-Niles drove down the pitch, taking on a number of players in the process, before being fouled by Jonathan Spector in the box. Pitman made no mistake from the spot as he fired the ball past Thomas Kuszczak to earn his side a point.


Key Players

Christophe Berra

The defender looks to have rediscovered his top form in recent weeks having limited various oppositions to scoring just five times in Town’s last eight matches. The Scotsman is yet to get off the mark in the scoring charts this season, but he has a decent record against tomorrow’s opposition which he will no doubt be looking to add to.


Jacques Maghoma

The Congolese winger has appeared in all but one of Birmingham’s 27 Championship games so far this season and has had to replace Demarai Gray as the clubs main man on the flanks following the youngster’s recent move to Leicester City. He has scored four and set up two league goals this season, but has been a constant threat for Gary Rowett’s side.

Sky Bet Odds

Town just edge ahead of Gary Rowett’s side as favourites for tomorrow’s game, with Sky Bet pricing them at 13/8 to pick up all three points. Birmingham, however, are available at 17/10 with the draw at 11/5.

Match Officials

Referee: Michael Bull
Assistant Referees: Steven Meredith & Matthew Parry
Fourth Official: Scott Duncan


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