Ipswich Town aim to string back-to-back results together for first time this season, at Bristol City, tomorrow
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One goal either way could well prove decisive when Ipswich Town play at Ashton Gate, the home of Bristol City, tomorrow (3pm kick-off).
The Blues head to the west Country in decent form, with three victories from their last six Championship games – indeed manager Mick McCarthy has already confirmed he will name an unchanged side tomorrow, following last weekend’s 3-0 home victory over QPR last Saturday – but have still to post back-to-back successes in the league this season.
Tomorrow’s game presents a good opportunity for the Blues to break their duck – Lee Johnson’s side, after a promising start to the season, have lost five of their last six games and won just once in the last seven.
Goals have been hard to come by for Bristol in recent weeks – the prolific Tammy Abraham, after nine goals in his opening 11 Championship matches, has netted just once in the last seven games.
Five goals scored in their last seven have raised a few alarm bells, City losing by single goals in four of their last five defeats, to slip down the table, just above the Blues.
Ipswich won their last game on the road, on November 5, in the 2-1 victory at Sheffield Wednesday, but the goals scored that day by Tom Lawrence and Luke Chambers were collector’s items, the Blues doubling their away tally in front of goal for the season (4).
Town are the league’s lowest goalscorers on the road, while only two teams, Derby County and, surprisingly, Burton Albion, have conceded fewer than the Robins (seven) on their home patch this season.
Despite that, Johnson hinted this week that he may adopt a more cautious approach given Bristol’s travails in recent times and while that would suit Town, who were effective on the counter-attack in the win at Sheffield Wednesday, it may not provide the ammunition for the most expansive of games.
However, Town have improved in front of goal, scoring nine goals in their last half-a-dozen games, compared to eight in their previous 12.
Their most impressive result in recent times came in last Saturday’s victory, and while they benefited from an element of fortune for all three goals, midfielder Cole Skuse, returning to his old club tomorrow, said Town could have been even more comprehensive in victory.
Skuse, one booking away from a one-game ban, along with Christophe Berra and Chambers, said: “It’s always nice to come off the back of a good win but a very, very convincing performance.
“We were very good, I thought. Going a goal up settled us a little bit. It’s been a rough time for all of us at home, so it was nice to get that first half, then second half, if we’d have scored five or six then I don’t think that would have been too flattering, we were that good.”
There is little to split the two teams, both sides being on the same number of points after 18 games, but City above the Blues by virtue of goals scored. The teams are just five points off the play-off places.
Skuse added: “It’s (December) is always a massive month because you get a marker and an inkling of where teams might finish, once you get to the back end of Christmas.”