Bristol City v Ipswich Town
The last two weeks have seen the World Cup draw, another banking news story and more importantly a blip in form for Bristol City.
I wasn't expecting to maintain a perfect home record all season and I'm not that bothered by the defeat. I still believe that sitting mid-table just over a third of the way through the season is a good place to be. At this rate, we could finish on over 70 points. To put this into perspective, the season we got into the playoffs we scored 74 points and last season we scored 61. Both seasons, we lost three times at home.
We lost against Sheffield United and our next opponents, Ipswich, beat Cardiff at home; a feat we were a million miles away from achieving. I feel this is a perfect time to play as we will [hopefully] be unhappy with our last performance and eager to correct it. Ipswich on the other hand, celebrated a rare victory, and although they may come to Ashton Gate full of confidence, I hope this may be their undoing. I am still not convinced by Roy Keane, and I don't think many Ipswich fans are either.
A few stats for your lunchtime: City haven't suffered three straight defeats in our recent Championship years, Ipswich have yet to keep a clean sheet away from home but they are unbeaten in seven games.
Importantly, Ipswich keeper Richard Wright has suffered a long term injury and the club were not given permission to sign another keeper on loan. This is potentially good news, but Sheffield United fielded a loanee (Carl Ikeme) against us the other week and we all know what happened there.
Danny Haynes is our key player today. Hungry fore more goals and eager to beat his former club, I tip Haynes to score or at least perform well. Interestingly, Maynard has the most shots on goal in the league and despite our lack of width, this is very encouraging. I truly believe he is one of the best strikers in the division.
No doubt many City fans would have noticed Stern John appearing on loan for the Tractor Boys and Keane says he looks set to play a part. I predict now that he will do absolutely nothing. Jon Stead is another matter, and made a good appearance as a scoring substitute against Cardiff and I fancy him as their main threat. Keane said on the match:
'They bought well in the summer with players like Paul Hartley and have a very good home record...They have got plenty of pace going forward, we know all about Danny [Haynes] and they will fancy their chances of doing well this season'.
Johnson has he is eagerly anticipating this game in an effort to start a run of good form and improve upon a defeat:
I'm looking forward to this week because I want to see if we can alleviate the mistakes and take our chances at the other end'.
Orr and McAllister should both be fit for the squad, but Orr is unlikely to start, with Skuse deputising still at right back.
I predict a good game, with a home win.